- Scientists have developed a new bionic hand that can ‘see’ objects and allow amputees to grasp things ten times faster than currently available prosthetics.
- The bionic hand is fitted with a camera that instantaneously takes a picture of the object in front of it, assesses its shape and size and triggers a series of movements in the hand.
- Bypassing the usual processes that require the user to see the object, physically stimulate the muscles in the arm and trigger a movement in the prosthetic limb, the bionic hand ‘sees’ and reacts in one fluid movement.
- Prosthetic limbs have changed very little in the past 100 years — the design is much better and the materials’ are lighter and more durable but they still work in the same way.
- Current prosthetic hands are controlled via myoelectric signals — electrical activity of the muscles recorded from the skin surface of the stump.
- Using neural networks — the basis for artificial intelligence — researchers showed the computer numerous object images and taught it to recognise the ‘grip’ needed for different objects.