Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute in Lausanne and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy have reported that a bionic hand has been successfully wired into the nerves of a man’s amputated arm, allow him to feel sensations of touch in real-time via the prosthetic!
“The sensory feedback was incredible, I could feel things that I hadn’t been able to feel in over nine years. When I held an object, I could feel if it was soft or hard, round or square.” said Dennis Aabo Sørensen, the Danish man who underwent this ground breaking procedure.
This isn’t the first time touch has been conveyed from a prosthetic, but it’s certainly the most advanced one so far, especially as far as the user is concerned as it gives much more feedback. Sørensen said that his standard prosthetic was not wired into his nerves and he had to literally watch it all the time when using it as he would likely crush whatever it was holding. However, his new arm gives him feedback like our hand does, so he can feel that pressure naturally, rather than have to gauge it by eye.
Unfortunately he had to give up his new bionic arm after just a month due to it just being a clinical study and they apparently need the arm back to try on other patients. It’s still in the early stages of testing in the real world, but for Sørensen, it’s likely been one incredible month.
Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Gigaom.