Man using neuroprosthesis

Remember that scene in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker gets his hand chopped off by Darth Vader, and he gets a really cool prosthetic that looks just like his severed hand? (Spoiler alert, by the way.) Well, this technology is the predecessor to that. And while it'll be useful if your estranged father goes after your mitts with a meat clever, a mind-controlled prosthetic doesn't seem terribly important in the world of cars.

What would be useful in the auto industry, though, is the mind-control technology used in the prosthetic, which could one day lead to drivers that have lost limbs controlling cars with their thoughts, and eventually the disappearance of hand and foot controls altogether.

Dr. Levi Hargrove, director of the Neural Engineering for Prosthetics and Orthotics Laboratory at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, explains this fantastic technology's automotive applications to Fox News: "It is not necessary that the leg itself move to push on the pedal. Muscle signals from the leg could be integrated into the car's computer system, which would bypass the leg altogether. Long-term, the technology in this device could potentially be used to eliminate the hand controls on automobiles."

You're welcome to hop over to the Fox News site for the full story, including all the medical mumbo-jumbo that should accompany this sort of piece. None of it is too deep, but having Wikipedia open might help. Take a look below for a video of the neuroprosthesis in action.