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Nebias: The World's Most Advanced Bionic Hand

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The worlds most advanced bionic hand, providing a sense of touch acute enough to handle an egg, has been completed after 10 years of EU-funded research.

The European Union's NEBIAS project to develop advanced prosthetic hands is demonstrating great strides only a year after its creation.

Credit: NEBIAS

The NEBIAS project, a European Union (EU) effort to develop advanced prosthetic hands, already is demonstrating great strides only a year after its creation.

NEBIAS researchers, who are drawn from 29 institutions in seven EU-member nations and the U.S., already have developed and successfully tested a neural interface that enables an amputee to feel with a prosthetic hand and control it through thought alone. One test participant, whose hand was amputated 10 years ago, says using the interface enabled him to "feel I was holding something round in my prosthetic hand" for the first time in a decade. The interface uses selective implantable electrodes in coordination with an artificial hand with sensors that relay information about touch to the patient in real time.

Moving forward, the project hopes to further test the system and develop it so its elements can be portable and wearable in addition to implantable.

Project coordinator Silvestro Micera believes a full prosthesis using NEBIAS technology will be available in 10 years.

The NEBIAS project is funded by a $3.4-million grant from the European Commission's 7th Framework Program and is expected to run for another three years.

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