Swiss scientists have demonstrated how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot using brain signals alone, reports the Associated Press. The team at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology said the experiment takes them a step closer to enabling immobile patients to interact with their surroundings easily through a robot “avatar.” The April 24 demonstration involved a partially tetraplegic patient at a hospital in a southern Swiss town who imagined lifting his fingers to direct a robot at the university 62 miles away. Similar experiments have taken place in the United States and Germany, but they either involved able-bodied patients or invasive brain implants, while the Swiss team used only a simple head cap to record the brain signals.

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