For this second study, the researchers sought to increase the hand’s functional utility while also maintaining a relatively low-complexity control space because more possible maneuvers means considerably more calibration. The 10-dimensional (10D) control (three dimensions of translation, three of orientation, four of hand shape) that they settled on had not been tested elsewhere, and they were unsure whether the brain would exhibit a preference for just one dimension or simultaneously handle all 10.
To calibrate the arm, Scheuermann watched animations of the movements and new hand shapes and imagined herself doing them while the team recorded the resultant signals in her brain. After identifying the brain activity patterns that correspond to each movement, these signals were then translated into instructions for the robotic arm.
We live in amazing times.