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Hand prosthesis that can 'feel'

  1. Jan 2, 2016 #1
    i saw some articles about people with hand prosthesis that also have some sensory feedback trough implants on a nerve in what left from the arm that gets signals from sensors on the artificial hand . but i didn't understand exactly how its work, dose the amputee actualy 'feels' the hand? like when he touch something with his prosthesis he feels the sensation coming from the artificial hand?.
    it is possible (in some limited fashion) to have something like that without surgery?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2016 #2
    You would need to provide a link to a specific article which can be discussed, although I also have heard of work in this area.
    I think it is very unlikely that the recipient would experience a fully working hand since the encoding of informational in nerve signals is not yet well understood, (we do know some of the basic physics but not a lot about how the 'software' works - what does a specific nerve signal actually mean?
    Surgery would most definitely be involved since the artificial hand must be physically well connected and must also include a device capable of translating signals from biological nervous system to digital signals which the artificial hand can make sense of.
    Similarly any sensors in the hand need to have their output translated to a form which makes sense as input for the biological nerves.
  4. Jan 2, 2016 #3


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    Google 'reinnervation'.
    I think the greatest barrier to robotic prosthetics is not the feedback/control mechanism, of which there are many viable contenders, It's that no robotic hands are cheap, robust and lightweight. Ie actuators are the problem. The hosmer hook, a body powered design over 100 years old is still the most widely used upper limb prosthetic. It's cheap, robust and lightweight unlike current robotics.
  5. Jan 3, 2016 #4


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  6. Jan 3, 2016 #5
    Very cool news, is there also a 3d printed brain on the way, doesn't need to be biological?
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  7. Jan 3, 2016 #6
  8. Jan 3, 2016 #7
    From what I see, the nerve only grows onto the chest and the sensor from the artificial hand reads the signal, so he can't really feel the artificial hand, I didn't watch the entire film though.
  9. Jan 5, 2016 #8
    Can't they create a prosthesis that is based on nerve and muscle contraction? They can just reconnect the nerve with the prosthesis.
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