The Bionic Hand, Now with Feeling!

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Okay, this is just too cool. How many of you remember The Six Million Dollar Man and secretly longed for your own bionics? It’s been a while since I saw the show, but if I remember correctly, he had super strength in his hand but no feeling.

Today, he’d be able to have some feeling. Silvestro Micera, of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, has developed a prosthetic hand:

that improved sensory feedback in amputees by using intraneural electrodes implanted into the median and ulnar nerves. This interface holds great promise because of its ability to create an intimate and natural connection with the nerves, and because it is less invasive than other methods. It also provides fast, intuitive, bidirectional flow of information between the nervous system and the prosthetic, resulting in a more realistic experience and ultimately improved function.

Engadget has more on this story. Apparently functional hands are still about two years away, but still, this is a huge advance in this technology and could make life much better for amputees.

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