Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Hand that Feels


A sensational breakthrough: the first bionic hand that can feel
Steve Connor, Boston, 17 Feb 2013
via: George Dvorsky, io9

The first bionic hand that allows an amputee to feel what they are touching will be transplanted later this year in a pioneering operation that could introduce a new generation of artificial limbs with sensory perception.

The wiring of his new bionic hand will be connected to the patient’s nervous system [via the median and the ulnar nerves] with the hope that the man will be able to control the movements of the hand as well as receiving touch signals from the hand’s skin sensors. [...]

It will effectively provide a fast, bidirectional flow of information between the man’s nervous system and the prosthetic hand.

...Another problem is how to conceal the wiring under the patient’s skin to make them less obtrusive. The electrodes of the prototype hand to be fitted later this year will be inserted through the skin rather than underneath it but there are plans under development to place the wiring subcutaneously, Dr Micera said.
-Silvestro Micera of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland


Vector-state the meatspace, and self-replicate


"Ghost in the shell 1989 - all I have to say on this matter."
-the internet

Bridging sensory gap between artificial and real skin
phys.org, Dec 2014

team has developed a skin that can stretch over the entire prosthesis; and its applications aren't just limited to pressure. It's embedded with ultrathin, single crystalline silicone nanoribbon, which enables an array of sensors." Alongside pressure arrays, she said, were temperature arrays and associated humidity sensors, strain sensors, electroresistive heaters and stretchable multi-electrode arrays for nerve stimulation. Talbot said that while stretchable sensing materials have been under development for a while, this is "the most sensitive material yet, with as many as 400 sensors per square millimeter." An accompanying caption in MIT Technology Review showed an electronics-laden glove made up of layers of materials with stretchable gold and silicon sensors.

Stretchable silicon nanoribbon electronics for skin prosthesis, Nature Communications 5, Article number: 5747, http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141209/ncomms6747/full/ncomms6747.html

Sensory receptors in human skin transmit a wealth of tactile and thermal signals from external environments to the brain. Despite advances in our understanding of mechano- and thermosensation, replication of these unique sensory characteristics in artificial skin and prosthetics remains challenging. Recent efforts to develop smart prosthetics, which exploit rigid and/or semi-flexible pressure, strain and temperature sensors, provide promising routes for sensor-laden bionic systems, but with limited stretchability, detection range and spatio-temporal resolution. Here we demonstrate smart prosthetic skin instrumented with ultrathin, single crystalline silicon nanoribbon strain, pressure and temperature sensor arrays as well as associated humidity sensors, electroresistive heaters and stretchable multi-electrode arrays for nerve stimulation. This collection of stretchable sensors and actuators facilitate highly localized mechanical and thermal skin-like perception in response to external stimuli, thus providing unique opportunities for emerging classes of prostheses and peripheral nervous system interface technologies.

The Robot 'Shadow' Hand
phys.org, Dec 2014

advanced human–machine interaction to transfer the human sense of touch to space. ... incorporates a force-feedback sense of touch and pressure to allow high-precision, high-manipulability gripping, with the robot hand reproducing the motion of its human operator.

Robotic Hand Wired Directly into Brain
The Guardian, Sep 2015

A new advanced robotic hand that is wired directly into the brain has been successfully tested, allowing paralysed man to “feel”. The hand, developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins university, is part of a research project into advanced replacement limbs

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