Mind-controlled prosthetics are making leaps and bounds in terms of dexterity. Research at the University of Pittsburgh has yielded what's considered the most advanced prosthetic arm control system yet. We've come a long way from Captain Hook with brain implants and prosthesis.
The patient is a woman suffering from a neurological disorder that has left her paralyzed from the neck down. This prosthetic, looking a fair bit like an advanced power glove, is not attached to her body. What is attached to her is a pair of microelectrodes in her left motor cortex. Using an MRI, doctors pinpointed the exact location in the brain when the patient thought about moving her arm and hand.
After the implants were in, and the (incredibly complicated) algorithms were sorted out, she began to learn to operate her detached prosthetic arm. Her progress was astounding. In two days she learned to move the arm. In two weeks she had mastered the hand. Practice made perfect and now she has a 92% rate of success for picking up and re-orienting objects. Her crowning achievement so far? Feeding herself a bar chocolate bar.
While the progress made so far is astounding, the team of researchers is already planning the next steps. Making the system wireless is priority one. After that, there will be an attempt to relay extrasensory data like temperature and texture through the hand to the mind.