Artificial skin can ‘feel’ changes in temperature

January 30, 2017

An artificial skin capable of detecting temperature changes using a mechanism similar to the one used by the organ that allows pit vipers to sense their prey, has been developed by a team of engineers and scientists at Caltech and ETH Zurich. The material could be grafted onto prosthetic limbs to restore temperature sensing in amputees. It could also be applied to first-aid bandages to alert health professionals of a temperature increase—a…


‘Knitted muscles’ can help with mobility

January 26, 2017

A normal fabric has been coated with an electroactive material, so it can operate in the same way muscle fibers do. The technology has opened new opportunities to design ‘textile muscles’ that could, for example, be incorporated into clothes, making it easier for people with disabilities to move. The study, which has been carried out by researchers at Linköping University and the University of Borås in Sweden, has been published…


Put your hands together for more affordable prosthetics

December 12, 2016

A functional prosthetic hand that can be used to grip, write and even catch a ball was created through a 3D printer and just $15. Creator, Senior Physics Major Ryan Bouricius, with the assistance of a non-profit group, could one day see this hand one day be matched to a person in need of such a prosthesis. The prosthetic hand is designed for a person who still has the ability…


‘Brain-spinal interface’ bypasses spinal cord injuries

November 10, 2016

A wireless ‘brain-spinal interface’ has been used by an international team of scientists to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg. The researchers, who describe their work in the journal Nature, say this is the first time a neural prosthetic has been used to restore walking movement directly to the legs of nonhuman primates. The study was performed…


Spots of light at the end of the tunnel for vision technology

November 7, 2016

A person is able to perceive and localize individual phosphenes or spots of light, and for the blind wishing for a discovering or rediscovering of the gift of sight, this could be an encouraging experience. Second Sight is a group that is in the news with a relevant announcement. The Daily Mail as well as a number of other sites discussed their work. Late last month, Second Sight announced its visual…


Artificial muscles: Scientists spin a yarn…

September 27, 2016

In recent years, researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues at the University of Wollongong in Australia have put a high-tech twist on the ancient art of fiber spinning, using modern materials to create ultra-strong, powerful, shape-shifting yarns. In a perspective article published September 26th online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists at UT Dallas’ Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute…


Handy 3D-printed devices from MIT

September 2, 2016

Although these names seem fitting for superhero characters; Cyborg beast, phoenix, talon — they are actually names for devices that make people feel like superheroes. These devices are 3D-printed hands that are designed for people who live without all or part of their arms. The hands are featured on a growing network called e-NABLE, which is an online forum to promote collaboration between hand-design developers, to pair developers with those…


Cybathlon in Zürich tests bionic strength

July 4, 2016

At the Cybathlon, 74 athletes from 25 countries will be showing how robotic technology helps them in their daily lives. In 100 days, the starting gun will be fired on the world’s first trial of bionic strength. The Swiss public broadcaster Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) will incorporate the Cybathlon into a day of themed programming and broadcast the unique competition live. The competition’s 59 teams, comprised of 74 athletes…


Amputee gets a bionic finger that can actually feel

March 8, 2016

While the field of prostheses has come a long way since the simple wooden leg, scientists and researchers are still working on ways for amputees to gain some senses back in their missing limbs in order to make them more realist. Well, now it’s possible. A team of engineers from Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) has, for the first time, granted an amputee the ability to…


DARPA has just developed a prosthetic hand that can actually feel

DARPA's Revolutionizing Prosthetics program began in 2006. (Image via DARPA)
September 16, 2015

There have been many strides made in the prostheses field thanks to robotics technology and artificial intelligence. Patients are now capable of moving prosthetic limbs with only their thoughts, as if it were a natural body part. While these advancements are beneficial, until now, wearers had no sensation in their prosthetic limbs. Thanks to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), all that has changed. The agency’s hard work and advancements have…