'Seeing' Prosthetic Hand Could Revolutionise Bionics

'We have developed an ‘intuitive’ hand that can react without thinking.'

04/05/2017 17:51 | Updated 05 May 2017

Scientists have created a bionic hand that can spot and grab objects automatically.

The revolutionary prosthetic uses computer vision to assess an object’s shape before adjusting its grip accordingly.

Existing bionics require users to physically stimulate the muscles in their arm to trigger movement.

But engineers designed the new prosthesis to see and react in one fluid movement, speeding up the process.

Newcastle University

The prosthesis, which has already been trialled on a small number of amputees, will now be offered to patients at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Newcastle University’s Dr Kianoush Nazarpour, co-creator of the device, said prosthetic limbs haven’t changed much in the past century: “The design is much better and the materials’ are lighter weight and more durable but they still work in the same way.

“Responsiveness has been one of the main barriers to artificial limbs. For many amputees the reference point is their healthy arm or leg so prosthetics seem slow and cumbersome in comparison.

“Now, for the first time in a century, we have developed an ‘intuitive’ hand that can react without thinking.”

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