Great news for people who were eagerly waiting for portable bionic prosthetic. The first bionic hand that can sense touch and can be worn outside the lab has been unveiled by scientists in Rome. The team of engineers, neuroscientists, surgeons, electronics and robotics specialists who worked together to design this belong to Italy, Switzerland and Germany.
Earlier in 2014, the team had launched the first bionic hand that could sense but the sensory and computer accessories associated with the prosthesis limited its mobility outside the laboratory. With the technological advancements, the designers have now made it compact enough to fit in a backpack.
The first recipient of the sensing Bionic hand is Almerina Mascarello. She had lost her left hand more than two decades back in an accident. After installing the prosthetic hand she was blindfolded and asked to identify whether an object was soft or rigid. Voila! She passed. Almerina can now perform all her normal tasks all by herself.
The latest Bionic hand has sensors that can detect if an object is soft or rigid by analyzing its information. It has an embedded computer that converts the information signals into a language understandable by the brain. And, tiny electrodes are implanted in the nerves of the upper arm. The information is conveyed to the user’s brain via those tiny electrodes installed in the upper arm. This enables the person to sense the objects.
Future Of The Bionic Hand
It is an amazing advancement in the field of medical engineering. Though, a real hand cannot be replaced by any prosthetic device, yet it will definitely ease the life of thousands of amputees who might have been feeling miserable without a limb. The engineering team behind the bionic hand are further planning to make the technology affordable enough so that it can be commercialized and any common man can render its benefits.