Man who drove car with thought-powered arms dies after crashing into tree
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:23 PM on 23rd October 2010
An Austrian man who was the first in Europe to wear an innovative high-tech artificial arm has died after the car he was driving veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
Christian Kandlbauer lost both arms in an electrical accident in 2005 but was able to live a largely normal life thanks to a mind-controlled robotic prosthetic left arm and a normal prosthesis in place of his right arm.
The 22-year-old died on Thursday, said Andreas Waltensdorfer, a senior physician at a hospital in the southern city of Graz, where Kandlbauer had been in intensive care since Tuesday, the day of the crash. Christian Kandlbauer had said how his life was almost back to normal after receiving his thought-powered limbs. He eventually passed his driving text using a specially adapted Subaru Impreza.
The cause of the crash remains unclear. Both Waltensdorfer and local police said Friday it was impossible to tell whether the accident was caused by problems with Kandlbauer's prosthetic arms.
Kandlbauer, who drove himself to work every morning after getting his driver's license a year ago, had said his quality of life improved dramatically due to the mind-controlled prothesis, which recognized signals from his brain and moved accordingly.