Researchers at Arizona State University have discovered a unique use for virtual reality.
They have developed state-of-the-art technology that could one day change the way prosthetics are made.
FOX 10's Ty Brennan got the story.
For someone who has lost a limb, the idea of being able to do some of the most mundane tasks can be daunting. But researchers at ASU hope to change that.
"What we're trying to do is create a synthetic limb that's much more natural so they would just have to think about and it would perform as if it would normally," said Dr. Bradley Greger.
Dr. Bradley Greger and his team of Ph.D. students have been working tirelessly on the technology. Using a virtual reality headset, they demonstrate how using the signal from the brain can move her virtual fingers on the screen, even though her real fingers aren't moving at all.
"It's kind of a weird sensation because you can see this realistic hand that's moving and it's controlling this entire limb, but you know your hands in a fist and it feels like it's moving."
"The idea is to listen to the signals that are coming from the peripheral nerve, the electrical impulses that control the muscles in your hand."
The idea is to one day take this technology and make prosthetics.
"There's a lot of work that's easty to get bogged down and a lot of obstacles, but the feeling that this is something that will actually help people practically in their daily lives is something that keeps me going."
"Hopefully this means for someone that has lost a hand, it will give them a hand that will enable them to do activities of daily life that we take for like granted like opening a door, brushing our teeth, eating, picking up a child."
The group plans to start working with patients at the Mayo Clinic to begin testing the new technology.