Researchers at the University of Utah (UT), the University of Chicago, and the Cleveland Clinic academic medical center have improved a commercially developed, three-dimensional printed robotic prosthetic arm, allowing an amputee to grasp his wife's hand and "feel" her touch.
The research team adapted the "LUKE arm," named after the robotic hand the character Luke Skywalker received in the film The Empire Strikes Back, by implanting electrodes in some nerves in an amputee's forearm, then recording his brain signals when he thought about moving his hand to grab or touch an object.
The researchers were able to restore the amputee's ability to "feel" what he was touching by providing stimuli through the electrodes implanted in his arm.
Said UT's Jacob George, "We're tapping into the same [mechanism] that's used in ... everyone's body, and we're trying to just activate it in the way it would have normally been activated, so the sensations feel like they're coming from their hand."
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA
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