Johnny Matheny is the first person to live with an advanced mind-controlled robotic arm. Last December, researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab delivered the arm to Matheny at his home in Port Richey, Florida. Aside from the occasional demo, this is the first time the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) has spent significant time out of the lab.
Johns Hopkins has received more than $120 million from the US Defense Department to help pay for the arm’s development over the past 10 years.
Matheny, who lost his arm to cancer in 2005, is the first person to live with the MPL, but there are plans to have others try it out this year. There are a few things Matheny is not allowed to do with the arm, like getting it wet or drive while wearing it. But beyond that, the goal is to push the robotic prosthetic to its limits.
Watch the video above to see the moment Matheny was given the arm, and find out why he was picked to be the first person to have it.