A prototype prosthetic hand containing sensors, wired to nerves in amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen's arm, has given him the ability to feel objects for the first time in nine years. Now its creators plan to miniaturise the electronics required in order to make a viable permanent prosthetic.
A team led by Silvestro Micera, associate professor in neurology at Swiss-based technology institute EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), designed the hand to interact with the body's own nervous system.
Sensors on the fingers that detect information about touch, send signals to artificial tendons in the hand. The tendons respond with movements that send an electrical current to electrodes connected to the body's peripheral nervous system, forming a link from the prosthetic to the brain.