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HEALTHCARE

A smart artificial hand for amputees merges user and robotic control

A smart artificial hand for amputees merges user and robotic control
The Siliconreview
13 September, 2019

The Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) scientists from Switzerland are developing new approaches to control robotic hands with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Researchers have merged two concepts from two entirely different fields which are, neuro engineering and robotics. The researchers have also included automation for improved grasping ability as well as for manipulation.

The implementation of two new fields had never been done before for robotic hand control, this will be the first-ever attempt made to control neuroprosthetics. The robotic hand mainly focuses on deciphering finger motion which is intended from the muscular activity on the amputee’s stump which brings about individual finger control. The other concept from robotics will allow the robotic hand to hold the objects and maintain contact with it for robust grasping.

The scientists at EPFL stated that it takes a couple of milliseconds to react when an object slips from your grasp. But the all-new robotic hands require less reaction time as  they are equipped with multiple pressure sensors, all along the fingers so that it can react and stabilize the object way earlier than the brain can perceive that the object is slipping. This device can be used in various neuroprosthetic applications such as brain-to-machine interfaces and bionic prostheses which will increase the clinical impact as well as the usability of these devices.