BBC: A 53-year-old woman, paralyzed from the neck down because of spinocerebellar degeneration, may one day be able to perform simple tasks on her own thanks to advances in robotics. A study recently published in the Lancet medical journal describes how the subject had two microelectrodes implanted in the motor cortex of her brain. Tiny needles on each sensor detect electrical pulses from hundreds of individual brain cells. Those electrical pulses are then translated into commands to move the robotic arm. Over a period of weeks, the woman learned to use the arm to grab and move various objects. Eventually the researchers hope to mount the arm to the woman’s wheelchair so she can use it outside of a laboratory setting.