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New prosthetics allow people to feel again

Prosthetics such as those seen in science fiction movies and tv shows have been a stretch from the real ones that millions of people across the world use to function every day. However, recently a company known as DARPA, a neural technology research company, has developed a prosthetic in which one can actually feel physical sensations. The program manager Justin Sanchez states that “ by wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly to the brain, this work shows potential for seamless bio- technical restoration of near natural function.”

prosthetic in which one can actually feel physical sensations

DARPA isn’t the only company making advancements in the field of prosthetics that are controlled through neurons in the brain. However, it is the first time that a company has been able to produce a prosthetic that can send signals back to the brain relating to a sense of touch. It is being tested by a 28 year old with a spinal injury. The prosthetic limb was created by the Applied Physics laboratory at John Hopkins University. It is wired with different sensors on the fingers such as pressure and temperature. The hand then relays the different feelings back to the brain to get a more realistic sense of touch.

There is much more functionality to a limb that can process the feelings of touch. It not only betters the quality of life, but also helps to ensure that the robotic limb can grasp and pick up objects. With this innovation in prosthetic technology and others like it, people who struggle using prosthetics can hope for a better quality of life and make using limbs easier and more effectively.

By: Tallie Schaffer

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