Sensors allow more natural sense of touch in prosthetics

Stanford’s Zhenan Bao is developing technology that could restore a more natural sense of touch in prosthetics.  Her flexible, thin plastic sensors send signals to the brain that more closely resemble nerve messages of human skin touch sensors. The disruptive technology has not yet been tested on humans, and researchers still need to find a safe way to … Continue reading Sensors allow more natural sense of touch in prosthetics

Trial: Improved sense of touch and control in prosthetic hand

http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/222/222ra19 In the ongoing effort to improve the dexterity of prosthetics, a recent trial showed an improved sense of touch and control over a prosthetic hand.  EPFL professor Silvestro Micera and colleagues surgically attached electrodes from a robotic hand to a volunteer’s median and ulnar nerves. Those nerves carry sensations that correspond with the volunteer’s index finger and … Continue reading Trial: Improved sense of touch and control in prosthetic hand

Nerve interface simulates touch in prosthetic hand

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/522086/an-artificial-hand-with-real-feelings/ Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University researchers have developed an interface that can convey a sense of touch from 20 spots on a prosthetic hand. It directly stimulates nerve bundles, known as peripheral nerves, in the arms of patients.   Two people have been fitted with the interface to date. … Continue reading Nerve interface simulates touch in prosthetic hand

Brain stimulation and touch sensitivity in prosthetic limbs

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/10/08/1221113110.abstract?sid=35f0c072-fa67-4ec8-9e83-17a292a83982 University of Chicago scientists have completed a study on stimulating a prosthetic limb wearer’s brain with electrical signals to replicate feelings of touch. The researchers used monkeys with electrodes connected to touch-associated areas of the brain. They completed touch exercises with their normal hand and an unstimulated brain. The same exercises were conducted with a prosthetic … Continue reading Brain stimulation and touch sensitivity in prosthetic limbs

Sensor enabled prosthetic grip improvements

Touch Bionics has introduced “Grip Chips,” bluetooth enabled devices that can be attached to objects to trigger a pre-programmed grip configuration when detected by motion sensors.  They are useful for triggering specific grip patterns that are used regularly, but perhaps not enough to warrant programming to the prosthetic itself for triggering via muscle movement.  For example, … Continue reading Sensor enabled prosthetic grip improvements

Wearable, multifunctional, silver nanowire sensor for prosthetics, robotics

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/NR/C3NR05496A#!divAbstract North Carolina State University researchers have developed a thumb joint mounted, multifunctional sensor using silver nanowires that measures strain, pressure, human touch and bioelectronic signals.  With potential biomedical, military and athletic applications, the sensor can be used for prosthetics, robotic systems and flexible touch panels. “The technology is based on either physical deformation or … Continue reading Wearable, multifunctional, silver nanowire sensor for prosthetics, robotics

“Artificial skin” senses touch, temperature, humidity

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708124423.htm Professor Hossam Haick at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has created a flexible sensor that could be integrated into electronic skin, enabling those with prosthetic limbs to feel changes in their environments.  The Technion invention simultaneously senses touch, humidity, and temperature. According to Professor Haick, it is at least 10 times more sensitive to touch … Continue reading “Artificial skin” senses touch, temperature, humidity

Nerve and muscle interfaces for prosthetic control

http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2013/05/30.aspx DARPA continues to build technology with academic partners to enable amputees to control prosthetic limbs with their minds.  Examples follow: Researchers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago demonstrated a type of peripheral interface called targeted muscle re-innervation (TMR). By rewiring nerves from amputated limbs, new interfaces allow for prosthetic control with existing muscles. Researchers … Continue reading Nerve and muscle interfaces for prosthetic control

Self-healing sensor improves “electronic skin”

Hossam Haick and Technion colleagues are developing materials to be integrated into flexible electronics that mimic the healing properties of human skin.  The goal is to quickly repair incidental scratches or damaging cuts that might compromise device functionality. The synthetic polymer can “heal” electronic skin in one day, which can improve the materials used to … Continue reading Self-healing sensor improves “electronic skin”