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Experiment adds sense of touch to artificial hand

February 5, 2014 • Business


This March 2013 handout photo provided by Science Translational Medicine shows amputee Dennis Aabo Sørensen, right, wearing sensory feedback enabled prosthesis in Rome. To feel what you touch _ that’s the holy grail for artificial limbs. In a step toward that goal, European researchers created a robotic hand that let an amputee feel differences between a bottle, a baseball and a mandarin orange. (AP Photo/Patrizia Tocci, Science Translational Medicine)

WASHINGTON (AP) — To feel what you touch — that’s the holy grail for artificial limbs. In a step toward that goal, European researchers created a robotic hand that let an amputee feel differences between a bottle, a baseball and a mandarin orange.

The patient only got to experiment with the bulky prototype for a week, and it’s far from the bionics of science fiction movies. But the research released Wednesday is part of a major effort to create more lifelike, and usable, prosthetics.

“It was just amazing,” said Dennis Aabo Sorensen of Aalborg, Denmark, who lost his left hand in a fireworks accident a decade ago and volunteered to pilot-test the new prosthetic. “It was the closest I have had to feeling like a normal hand.”

This isn’t the first time scientists have tried to give some sense of touch to artificial hands; a few other pilot projects have been reported in the U.S. and Europe. But this newest Login to read more

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