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Dallas Observer: SMU, DOD Partner Again, This Time on Prosthetics That Feel

Robotic%20hand%20150x120.jpgThe Dallas Observer’s Robert Wilonsky writes about a new $5.6 million center funded by DOD and industry, and led by SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. The center will develop revolutionary technology for advanced prosthetic limbs that will help amputees returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Researchers also envision man-to-machine apps that extend beyond prosthetics, leading to brain implants to control tremors, modulators for chronic pain management and fused implants for spinal cord injuries.

The Dallas Observer on its Unfair Park blog took note of the SMU-led Neurophotonics Research Center being funded by the Department of Defense and industry with a $5.6 million grant.

In the Sept. 13 entry, Journalist Robert Wilonsky explained details of the project to Observer readers and quoted Marc Christensen, electrical engineering chair in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

“Enhancing human performance with modern digital technologies is one of the great frontiers in engineering. Providing this kind of port to the nervous system will enable not only realistic prosthetic limbs, but also can be applied to treat spinal cord injuries and an array of neurological disorders,” Christensen is quoted.

By Robert Wilonsky
SMU and the Department of Defense are already partners on that paper-thin camera straight outta 1984 by way of Minority Report. Now the Hilltop sends word of its latest DOD partnership — a $5.6-mil Neurophotonics Research Center that’ll be run by Marc Christensen, electrical engineering chair in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. Its charge: to develop prosthetic limbs using fiber optics that actually feel things like pressure and temperature. Says SMU: “Lightning-fast connections between robotic limbs and the human brain may be within reach for injured soldiers and other amputees.”

Read the full story.