A new advanced robotic hand that is wired directly into the brain has been successfully tested, allowing paralysed man to “feel”.
The hand, developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins university, is part of a research project into advanced replacement limbs funded by the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
The 28-year-old man, who has been paralysed for more than a decade after a spinal-cord injury, had electrodes from the prosthetic hand inserted into his sensory and motor cortexes. This allowed him to both control the hand with thought and sense when the fingers of the hand were touched individually.
Sensors in the hand detect pressure applied to any of the fingers and create electrical signals to mimic touch sensations. When blindfolded, the volunteer could determine which finger on the hand was touched with nearly 100% accuracy, according to Darpa.
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