How does a thought controlled Prosthetic Arm actually work?
Current arm prosthetics operated by twitching the damaged muscle are fairly basic, only performing one or two grasping commands. As a result of this around 40-50 per cent of users globally discard this type of robotic arm.

The new technology, created at Imperial College, London, uses nerve cells known as motor neurons in the spinal cord.
Its fibres, called axons, project outside the spinal cord to directly control muscles in the body. The new arm detects signals from the spinal motor neurons meaning that more signals can be detected by the sensors connected to the prosthetic. This means that ultimately more commands could be programmed into the robotic prosthetic, making it more functional.

The arm detects spinal nerve signals rather than current models where the user twitches remaining muscle to move the limb.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4196408/World-s-prosthetic-controlled-thought.html
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