ROME – A group of European scientists say they have successfully connected a robotic hand to a man who had lost an arm, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial hand and control it with his thoughts.
I can only imagine how fast my uncle, Gordon Zahler, would’ve signed up for this marvelous new step toward helping people regain movement and motion they assumed was gone forever in this earthly phase. I’m thinking about 15 seconds. As I lay out in my biography of him, Wheeling the Deal: the Outrageous Legend of Gordon Zahler, Hollywood’s Flashiest Quadriplegic, Gordon during the late- 1960′s investigated whether he might have his twisted, paralyzed hands amputated and replaced by metal hooks that’d allow him a fractional degree of control. Despite his horrific gym accident, he still had some muscle movement in one arm and that movement might’ve enabled him to control steel pincers so he could grip a straw, cigarette or other objects that didn’t require finger dexterity. This idea, forty years downstream of that conundrum, has real legs, excuse the pun. May it first go to veterans and children.