Prosthetic Hand Controlled By Thoughts
“It felt almost the same as a real hand,” he told a press conference in Rome, according to the Telegraph. “It’s a matter of mind, of concentration. When you think of it as your hand and forearm, it all becomes easier.”
Although similar experiments have been performed before, the Italian researchers involved in the project say it is the first time such complex movements have been achieved using the human nervous system to control a biomechanical device.
According to Silvestro Micera, one of the Italian researchers, the “LifeHand” experiment, at one month, was the longest time electrodes have been connected to a human nervous system. Although experts agree that “the experiment was an important step forward in creating a viable interface between the nervous system and prosthetic limbs,” Ariel David writes for the Associated Press, “the challenge now is ensuring that such a system can remain in the patient for years and not just a month.”
In 2008, a company in North Carolina, Tackle Design, focused on leading a worldwide collaborative effort to refine prosthetic arms and hands through the use of open-source technology. The company created a Web site where people could share ideas about improving prosthetic devices for arms and hands.