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Lifehand 2 prosthetic grips and senses like a real hand

Roboticists and doctors working in Switzerland and Italy have come together to develop a bionic hand that provides sensory feedback in real time, meaning that an amputee can be given back the ability to feel and modify grip like someone with a “real” hand. Using a combination of surgically implanted electrodes (connected at one end to the nervous system, and at the other end to sensors) and an algorithm to convert signals, the team has produced a hand that sends information back to the brain that is so detailed that the wearer could even tell the hardness of objects he was given to hold.

In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine in Feb. 2014, the team from EPFL (Switzerland) and SSSA (Italy) headed by Prof. Micera of EPFL and NCCR-Robotics presented an entirely new type of prosthetic hand, Lifehand 2, that is capable of interfacing with the nervous system of the wearer in order to give the ability to grip and sense like a real hand – including being able to feel shape and hardness of an object. This life-like sensation of feeling is something that has never before been achieved in prosthetics. Read more