By Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 17:50 BST, 20 June 2019 | Updated: 17:53 BST, 20 June 2019
An incredible video has revealed a mind-controlled robotic arm which is the first of its kind to work without surgical brain implants.
Researchers have filmed someone using the robot arm to follow a white spot around a computer screen while controlling it with pads on the outside of their head.
In the past the technology has only worked when connected to sensors inside the skull with direct connections to the brain, the scientists said.
But a new non-invasive way of connecting the mind to extra limbs could pave the way for pioneering technology to help paralysed people and amputees.
Developments have made the arm controllable using pads placed on the outside of the head and its movement is now smooth and continuous.
In the video a person can be seen controlling the robot arm with their mind and using it to follow a white circle around the computer screen with a continuous, fluid motion
Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the University of Minnesota said the breakthrough was a step towards the 'ultimate goal'.
Surgical implants can already accurately translate electrical signals in the brain into commands to make an electronic device move.
But hooking them up is a complicated process which takes extremely skilled staff performing expensive and risky brain surgery.
The new technology, however, can measure brain signals with electrodes placed on the outside of the head to interpret someone's intended movement.
Although in the video it doesn't appear to be perfectly accurate the researchers were focused on how fluid and free from disruption the arm's movement was.
'There have been major advances in mind controlled robotic devices using brain implants,' said Professor Bin He, from Carnegie Mellon.
'It's excellent science but non-invasive is the ultimate goal.
'Advances in neural decoding and the practical utility of