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article imageMan with bionic arm dies after car crash

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 22, 2010 in World
A 22-year-old man who was able to drive by using a mind-controlled robotic arm has died of injuries he suffered in a car crash in Austria this week.
Christian Kandlbauer had been driving his specially-adapted Subaru when the accident took place.
The BBC reported that a lorry driver came across the burning car on a road in south-east Austria on Tuesday. He put out the flames, but firefighters were needed to extract Kandlbauer from the wreckage.
The young man was taken to hospital and put on life support, but on Thursday he was pronounced brain-dead in the intensive care unit at the Graz hospital and the machines were turned off.
Kandlbauer lost both of his arms when he was 17, after being shocked by 20,000 volts.
Otto Bock Healthcare fitted him with a robotic arm which was controlled when electrical connections in it responded to electrical impulses from his brain.
Using this left arm, and a right arm which was a regular prosthetic limb, he passed his driving test in a specially converted car last year.
Earlier in 2010 he told the BBC: "I feel very happy. It is like my earlier arm - I feel that my arm is a part of my body."
He was working as a warehouse clerk at the garage where he had once been employed as a mechanic, and said he was grateful to have the freedom to get on with his life.
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