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Amputee feels surfaces through bionic fingertip

by • March 7, 2016 • No Comments

Dennis Aabo Sørensen may be missing a hand, but he nonetheless not long ago felt rocky and smooth textures via a fingertip on which arm. The fingertip was electronic, and was surgically hard-wired to nerves in his upper arm. He is reportedly the initially man in the world to recognize texture via a bionic fingertip connected to electrodes which were surgically implanted above his stump.

The device was made by scientists of the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, and Italy’s Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) research institute.

Whilst it was wired to Sørensen, a machine moved it across rocky and smooth plastic surfaces. Sensors in the fingertip produced electrical signals as they deformed in response to the topography of those surfaces, and transmitted those signals to the nerves in a series of electrical spikes – this was reportedly an imitation of the “language of the nervous system.” He was able-bodied to differentiate between the two surfaces with an accuracy of 96 percent.

“The stimulation felt approximately like what I may feel with my hand,” he said. “I yet feel my missing hand, it is always clenched in a fist. I felt the texture sensations at the tip of the index finger of my phantom hand.”

Sørensen had previously been the test subject for a consume touch-sensing prosthetic hand, although it was less sensitive than the fingertip.

Non-amputees were in addition able-bodied to feel via the fingertip, albeit with a lower average accuracy of 77 percent. In their case, it was connected to their arm nerves just via satisfactory needles which pierced the skin. The fact which it worked for them is worthwhile, for the reason it means which additional development of the innovation won’t necessarily need amputees as test subjects.

Additionally, it may find use in areas other than prosthetics. “It can in addition be translated to other applications such as artificial touch in robotics for surgery, rescue, and manufacturing,” said SSSA’s Calogero Oddo.

More information is on the market-bodied in the video at a lower place.

Source: EPFL

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