The Loh Down On Science

First prosthetic hand to let owner feel sensations

Controlled with your mind, it’s a bionic hand!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Scientists in Switzerland have developed a bionic hand.  Amputees can not only use and control it, but can also use it to feel sensations! 

The prosthetic hand is able to "feel" thanks to electrodes implanted in the patient's median and ulnar nerves.  These send signals both up and down the arm.  The signals interact with the brain's sensory system, sending feedback to and from the hand's fingers, palm, and wrist.

During a four-week trial of the prosthesis, one test subject was able to move the hand's fingers, have it hold objects, and even feel when needles were jabbed into it.  Most remarkable?  The hand sat on a table, connected to him only by wires.

The hand has since been improved, and can now be attached directly to an amputee's arm.

Hey, scientists! The Six Million Dollar Man called—he wants his hand back! Just kidding. You can keep it.

 

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The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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