Lifehand 2 bionic arm successfully conveys the ambit of ‘feeling’
The realm of bionics had advanced through the recent years with an exhilarating pace which is arguably unmatched by other electronic fields. And, the latest example of this technological progression takes an inspiringly conscientious route by going beyond the ambit of just physical support. A research team from Switzerland’s EPFL and Italy’s SSSA has devised the Lifehand 2, as a part of their ongoing bionic limb project. The specialty of the prosthetic is that it actually allows the users to feel rather than just supporting them on an artificial level. In other words, it exhibits an advanced degree of sensory feedback that is perceptible by the human senses, as opposed to a mechanical device serving as an inanimate extension of the person.
The secret behind this breakthrough was to make use of the body’s nerves to highlight the sense of touch for the bionic arm. During the testing phase, the subject (Dennis Sørensen) had electrodes implanted in his arm just above the point of amputation that took place 9 years ago. And, although the nerves fell into ‘disuse’ for a long time, the Lifehand 2 prosthetic setup successfully translated the inputs into electric signals that were recognized and comprehended by the nerves.
The test results of Dennis Sørensen credibly showed the benefits of this successful scope, with figures relating to 88 percent accuracy when it came to differentiating shapes, and 79 percent accuracy when differentiating hardness of objects. This intrinsic ability fueled by the nerves also allowed Sørensen to effectively manage the subtle force required for holding various items.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time scientists have been able to infuse the ambit of ‘feeling’ into a bionic mechanism. However, the researchers of the Lifehand 2 are quite clear in their designated route of development. They want to practically progress onto the next level of advancement, as opposed to those highfalutin promises of revolutionary futuristic designs.