About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Artificial Bionic Arms Now Equipped With the Sense of “touch”

by Tanya Thomas on October 1, 2008 at 1:12 PM
Font : A-A+

Artificial Bionic Arms Now Equipped With the Sense of “touch”

The bionic arm has virtually become a savior for those who've lost their limbs, and now scientists have come up with a new and improved version of the original thing. Researchers at the University of Southern California have invented an arm which is more sensitive to touch than before!

With gel-filled fingertips, the prosthetic hands have got greater sensitivity; so much so, that now the bionic hands can react "instinctively" to objects slipping from their grasp.

Advertisement

Human hands have an inherent mechanism to estimate the minimum force needed to hold on to an object-by using a built-in reflex that responds to tiny vibrations in the skin as an object starts to slip through our fingers.

However, the reflex mechanism is missing in existing artificial hands, thus operators have to consciously estimate the required force.

"It's very mentally taxing," New Scientist quoted Jeremy Fishel, a member of the research team, as saying.
Advertisement

The researchers have developed a system in which the finger tips consist of a rubber skin, filled with thick silicon gel.

If an object begins to slip, the vibrations in the finger's elastic skin transmit through the silicon gel to sensors attached to a central acrylic "bone".

The vibration provides instant feedback, telling the motors in the hand to tighten their grip before the vibrations stop.

The bone of the finger is also covered with tiny electrodes, across which a small voltage is applied.

The deformations in the elastic skin caused by holding an object alter the distribution of gel in the fingertip, which changes the amount of electricity that is conducted between the electrodes.

The information could then be transmitted to a pressure device worn on a patch of the hand-operator's healthy skin, helping them to "feel" what their prosthetic hand is touching.

A prototype of the finger will be presented at the BioRob conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Source: ANI
TAN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Arms 

Recommended Reading
Bionic Eye may Help Restore Basic Vision to the Blind
People who are on the verge of losing their eyesight may now breathe a sigh of relief, for now an .....
“Bionic” Ear Restores Hearing to Von Hippel-Lindau Disease Patients
Scientists have for the first time shown that a "bionic" ear may help restore hearing in patients .....
Scottish Firm Bags Royal Academy Award for Bionic Hand
Touch Bionics, a Scottish firm, has bagged the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use