Scientists have unveiled the first bionic hand with a sense of touch that can be worn outside a laboratory

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Bionic Hand with Sense of Touch

Almerina Mascarello the women who faced an accident nearly 25 years ago and lost his hand in it, she is the women to test the “first bionic hand with a sense of touch” and said that, “it's almost like its back again, the feeling is spontaneous as if it were your real hand; you're finally able to do things that before were difficult, like getting dressed, putting on shoes - all mundane but important things - you feel complete."

The world’s first feeling bionic hand was produced by the same team in 2014, but the limitation of that bionic hand Amputee is not able to go outside with the bionic hand as the sensory and computer equipment are linked together and covers a large area, so Amputee is not able to leave the laboratory.

Now the researcher’s team able to make it portable, as now the technology is small enough to fit into a backpack. The teams consist of specialist from various fields like engineers, neuroscientists, surgeons, electronics and robotics from Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.

 

How portable bionic hand works?

The Bionic hand has a sensor that detects the information about whether an object is hard or soft. The information messages are linked to a computer placed in the backpack, converts these data signals into the language that brain understands via tiny electrodes implanted in nerves in the upper arm of an amputee.

In the test, Almerina Mascarello eyes were covered by an eye mask, and still she is able to tell that the object she holds is whether hard or soft using her portable bionic hand. Which shows the achievement in the advancement of neuroprosthetics (the interface between the machine and human body). We know that the robotic arm is still not even comparable to human hand, but the team believes it’s just the beginning, at the end, it will be a reality

Professor Silvestro Micera, a neuroengineer at EPFL in Lausanne and Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa told me: "We are going more and more in the direction of science fiction movies like Luke Skywalker's bionic hand in Star Wars - a fully controlled, fully natural, sensorised prosthesis, identical to the human hand."

Prof Paolo Rossini, a neurologist at University Hospital Agostino Gemelli, Rome said: "Once you can control a robotic prosthesis with your brain you can think about creating one that allows more complex movements than a hand with five fingers."

Almerina Mascarello used to keep the bionic hand with her for six months, but now it is removed as it’s still a prototype. Researchers gifted Almerina and other amputees to join the project. The scientific team says that it may possible to minimize the technology so they can be commercialized it for amputee’s welfare.

Source: BBC

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