First ever 'mind reading' AI bionic arm given to woman run over by tube

Sarah de Lagarde calls herself "80 percent human, 20 percent robot", with an AI robotic arm replacing the limb she lost in a tragic accident, as Sam Holder reports.

Sarah de Lagarde was travelling home from work on 30 September 2022 when she fell asleep on the train and missed her stop.

Rushing for the train on the opposite platform, she lost her balance and fell through the gap between the platform edge and train. She was run over by two trains at High Barnet station before being found and airlifted to hospital.

After being treated at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, Ms. de Lagarde starting fundraising for a prosthetic arm that could 'read her mind.'

Sarah de Lagarde's robotic arm will learn the movements she makes most often Credit: GMB

She said, "It learns and that's the beauty of it, so every time I use it, it adds data to its database which means eventually it's response will become smoother and faster.

"My big dream would be to be able to ride a bicycle with it or a car and if I was allowed, that would be awesome".

Sarah, from Camden, is already using her new arm in her daily tasks like making coffee and watering the garden.

The arm uses AI technology which can detect muscle twitches in her upper arm, with the software converting those impulses into arm movements.

Sarah explains: "I have to think I want to make a movement and then I twitch a sequence of muscles, and it creates a series of electrical movements in the server which is the forearm which equates to moving the fingers."

Sarah uses her brain to control the movements in the arm Credit: ITV News London

Following her accident, it took eight months of physical training to get her shoulders strong enough to bear the weight of the bionic arm.

Sarah said the first thing she did when her new arm was up and running, was hug her kids.

"They think it's super cool," she said.

The cutting edge technology used in Sarah's prosthetic limb doesn't come cheap. She had to fundraise £250,000 in order to fund the machinery.

But Sarah hopes that by showing how much of a difference it can make, the NHS may consider buying these bionic limbs for other amputees in the future.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...