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Thanks to a computer interface linking his brain and arm, a paralyzed man has become the first quadriplegic in history to regain the ability to perform complex hand and finger movements.
Ian Burkhart was paralyzed in a diving accident in 2010, which left him with only limited use of his arms but no movement in his hands and legs.
On Wednesday, however, doctors published a study in the journal Nature that said the 24-year-old had managed to regain control of his right hand and fingers, thanks to a technology called NeuroLife that reads and decodes electrical signals from the brain and send them to his usually non-functioning extremity.
A high school in Japan is about to receive a new student, and his name is Pepper. He’s likely to stand out among his classmates, however, because Pepper is actually a humanoid robot. It marks the first time a robot will study alongside human students.
“I never thought that I would be accepted into a human school,” the robot said upon hearing of his successful enrollment at Hisashi High School in Waseda, Fukushima Prefecture. He also promised to “try my best,” TASS reported.
Pepper comes to the school with an impressive array of language skills, speaking both Japanese and English. He will mostly take part in English classes, though the school has told Pepper than he can also visit other classes and activities.