A new kind of bionic hand that allows the user to actually feel and touch what they are holding, is set to be transplanted later this year. It was revealed at this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Dr. Silvestro Micera of Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
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The expectation is that a more advanced sensory perception can be achieved with the use of electrodes connecting the hand to the two main nerves in the patient’s arm.
This direct connection to the patient’s nervous system is being attempted in hopes that they can more easily and organically control the hand. This should also allow for real-time sensory perception via signals from the hand’s skin sensors.
The hand is still a work a progress, but if the first transplant is a success, it could lead to a new plateau of artificial limb technology, giving many amputees the benefit of real-time sensory perception.