Watch This Paralyzed Woman Fly a Fighter Jet Simulator with Her Mind
The technology needed to allow a paralyzed person to fly an actual plane is still a long ways off, but that hasn't stopped the scientists at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, from giving one quadriplegic woman the ability to do it in the digital world. Meet 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann, the amazing woman in question and the subject of revolutionary new testing in neuroscience. Scheuermann first made news when she controlled a robotic arm using only the left motor cortex of her brain, feeding herself a candy bar and giving brain-powered high fives. According to The Washington Post, her next challenge involved tackling an aircraft simulator. RELATED: The AeroMobil 3.0 is the flying car you could actually own
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For a person that has never flown a plane in real life, she did quite an amazing job. The keys to her success are two probes that were attached to the motor cortex of her brain in 2012, which allow scientists to monitor the brain activity integral for right arm and hand movement. She's quickly proving however that those motor skills are only a small portion of her mental strength.
DARPA's Director Arati Prabhakar mentioned how revolutionary Scheuermann's testing has been in a recent presentation at Arizona State University. He understands it's a new unknown for science (both civilian and military) and a potentially ethically-challenged road ahead.
“You can see some amazing positive things, but of course we're talking about crossing some very important ethical boundaries," noted Prabhakar. "We don't want to only go play in the safe places."
From high fives all the way up to flying an F-35... we can't wait to see what Jan does next.
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Photo via UPMC
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