Robotica by Zackary Canepari

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The home office of Les Baugh in Walden, Colorado.  Baugh lost both his arms at the shoulder in a freak electrical accident 40 years ago. Since then, he has managed life mostly without the help of prosthetic arms, which he finds to be more of an uncomfortable nuisance than a help. In 2013, Les underwent a state of the art surgery called Targeted Muscle Reinnervation, where the bundle of nerves at the stump of his shoulders were remapped to his pectoralis muscles. After he recovered from surgery, researchers at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab fitted him with two robotic arms, called the MPL or Modular Prosthetic Limb, and he was able to manipulate objects with his hands, just by thinking about it. The MPL is a state of the art prototype, and not ready for take-home, so Baugh has been practicing mind control at home in rural Walden using a virtual reality game paired with less advanced prosthetic limbs. All of this is practice, because in April 2015, he will return to Johns Hopkins APL, to test out version 2.0 of the robotic MPL, and work with researchers who theorize that he will have better control now that the remapped nerves have grown deeper into his pecs.  The project is still experimental and the arms are far away from being functional enough or cheap enough for Mr. Baugh to take home but the project gives Les the oppurtunity to do things that he's never been able to do like pick up a cup of water and drink it.  Mr. Baugh has learned how to live without the arms and has created tenchniques and technology that allow him to do things like drive a car, cook breakfast and work on a computer but the arms would give him another level of autonom