We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Can Thought-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs Become More Affordable?

Margaret Lipman
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

For most high school students, keeping up with the demands of remote learning was enough of a challenge during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not for Benjamin Choi, then a sophomore at the Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. Choi decided to use all of the time at home to design – what else? – an affordable, non-invasive thought-controlled prosthetic arm.

Choi had long been fascinated by the idea of controlling prosthetics with one's mind, ever since watching a 60 Minutes report as an elementary school student. However, amazing as it was, that particular device required brain surgery to implant sensors into the patient's motor cortex. It also had a price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars, putting it far out of reach for most people in need of a prosthetic limb.

Intrigued by the idea of creating an affordable alternative that didn't require brain surgery, Choi set up a lab/workshop on the ping pong table in his basement and went to work. He designed and built a prosthetic arm, created in pieces with his sister's 3-D printer. Rather than having to be implanted, Choi's device was controlled through head gestures and brain wave data from EEG sensors placed on the head and interpreted by an AI algorithm that Choi devised himself. This algorithm, which involves 23,000 lines of codes, performs with a mean accuracy of 95%. It learns from the user's brain patterns to become more accurate over time. It took 75 iterations, but Choi eventually produced a working device that could be manufactured for only $300 – a tiny fraction of the cost of even a basic prosthetic limb.

Learn more about Benjamin Choi's creation:

  • There is certainly a demand for Choi's invention. There are around two million people in the United States alone living with the loss of a limb. The World Health Organization estimates that only 10% of people around the world who need a prosthetic have access to one.

  • This fall, Choi will head to Harvard to study engineering. He will continue working on the prosthetic arm, which he hopes to test in clinical trials in the near future. He already has two provisional patents.

  • When the incredibly impressive Benjamin Choi isn't focused on robotics and machine learning he is also a nationally-ranked squash player, acclaimed violinist, quiz bowl captain, and published author. He was also student body president at the Potomac School.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margaret Lipman
By Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range of topics. Her articles cover essential areas such as finance, parenting, health and wellness, nutrition, educational strategies. Margaret's writing is guided by her passion for enriching the lives of her readers through practical advice and well-researched information.
Discussion Comments
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
With years of experience as an educator, Margaret Lipman produces thoughtful and informative content across a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.