Until recently, losing both arms in an accident would probably have meant the end of a patient's two-fisted grip. Not so for Leslie Baugh, the first shoulder-level double amputee to wear and control two complex, mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.
In order to prepare his body for the devices, Baugh underwent a surgery called targeted muscle reinnervation. The procedure redirected nerves that once controlled his limbs to interact with the prosthetics.
Next, he trained on a computer, working with virtual models as pattern recognition software learned to apply signals from his brain to his intended movements. Then, Johns Hopkins researchers fitted him with a personalized socket to hold the prostheses to his body and translate his mental controls.