A paralysed welder in Indonesia has claimed to have built himself a mind controlled robotic arm out of scrap metal from his workshop. I Wayan Sumardana from Bali suffered a stroke in 2015 that resulted in his left arm being paralysed. He has since claimed to have built himself the robotic arm that is controlled by his thoughts – something that has led to him being dubbed the real-life ‘Iron Man’ … for obvious reasons!
“If I consume this medicine, I can tell my brain to believe that the medicine is sweet even though it is really bitter. So by lying, I trigger my head gear to react and the LED lights blink. This means, it is getting a signal from my brain. I am lighting the LED by giving it more power from my brain. This [power] then is transmitted to the relay device, which acts like a switch. The relay device is connected to the battery which powers up the motor, which makes this arm mechanically active. It’s quite simple, really”.
His claim has been disputed by a number of online critics, who say that this technology isn't possible. The arm has led to him becoming something of a celebrity, with his story being featured in the local, and now international media.
“I hope this will motivate other people, who have had a stroke or are paralysed like myself. Some, can’t even walk. I hope they keep their spirits up to live because life is hard and to give up is easy,” Sumardana said.
It is being reported locally that the Bali Governor has donated 50 million IDR (£2,500) to Sumardana after hearing the story so he could continue proper medical treatment.
Regardless of verification regarding Sumardana’s ability… it certainly leaves an element of motivation when hearing of his determination to make what may sound impossible a reality and it is that we celebrate! And to be called ‘Iron Man’ is something most guys would like which is a great bonus!