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Life Lifter: The Robot That Makes People Magic
We all have those moments: you finally get through your evening to-do's and gather up your book and blanket and plop down on the couch for a nice relaxing cup of tea, only to realize you've left the cup of tea in the kitchen. So, if you're anything like me, you sit there and gather up your gumption and just try really extra hard to move your tea with your brain. It never works, does it. Nope, not for me either. So you have to gather up all your remaining energy and launch yourself out of the couch and all the way to the kitchen. Stupid brains, why won't you let us be magic?
But what we rarely take a moment to recognize is how amazing, how magical, what an absolute gift from the universe, to be able to (even if begrudgingly) get up and walk and clutch that tea cup. How there are plenty of people who would give anything to be able to move their bodies just by thinking. Like Cathy Hutchinson, who has been completely paralyzed from the neck down for the past 15 years. PBS reports how, thanks to a robot arm, Cathy just served herself a cup of coffee for the first time since becoming paralyzed. That is to say, Cathy moved this robot arm, which is not attached to her body, with her MIND. This is pretty exciting. It's even more exciting if you watch the video, and see the intense look of concentration on Cathy's face as she THINKS the arm into moving. And it's most exciting when you see Cathy's expression after completing the task: relief, pride at a hard-won triumph, and sheer joy. All from a sip of coffee.
Watch The Future of Prosthetics: Mind-Bending Robotic Arms on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.It's a moment that reminds us of our own daily acts of magic. We may not be able to move things with our brains, but there are brains out there that are figuring out how the people who need to, can. And if you ask me, that's pretty magical.
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