Woman trials first portable bionic hand with sense of touch
A woman from Italy became the first recipient of a portable bionic hand, which reportedly gave her a sense of touch during the six months she tested it.
ROME — An Italian woman has become the first woman to try out the first bionic hand with a sense of touch that can be worn outside a laboratory.
BBC reports that scientists in Rome have unveiled a portable bionic hand which uses sensors and electrodes to restore a sense of touch, trialing the technology on Almerina Mascarello who lost her hand in an accident 25 years ago.
Sensors on the prosthetic hand detect whether an object being held is hard or soft, and send electrical signals to a portable computer.
The signals are converted into sensory impulses and sent to electrodes implanted in the upper arm, which then relay it to the brain.
The process happens in real time, and Mascarello claimed she felt the sensation spontaneously, as though it were her real hand. Unfortunately, she had to give back the prototype once the six-month trial period ended.
Scientists are now working on miniaturizing the electronics and making the technology clinically usable.
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