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Amputees can now experience artificial sensation via an arm prosthesis. This allows amputees to know everything they touch. Something that makes it much easier to do everything from picking a grapevine to running an excavator.
The arm prosthesis has been designed by researchers at Chalmers and it has already been tested in everyday life by some people with amputated arms. For the amputees, it feels like they have a regular arm.
“The prosthesis has changed my life a lot. The traditional socket prosthesis I had before was a tool I wore. The new prosthesis does not feel like something I wear but as part of me. I use it all day, so for me it's so natural, it's not something I really think about, ”says one of the amputees who uses the arm today.
The arm prosthesis has implanted electrodes that respond to pressure. Since the prosthesis is also mind controlled, the electrodes can use that connection between the brain and the prosthesis to send signals to the brain that gives the impression of feeling.
According to the researchers, the arm is unique in the world today and that claim is based on:
· The prosthesis has a permanent connection to the patients' nerves, muscles and upper arms.
· It has both mind control and artificial feel.
· Patients do not need to carry any associated equipment outside the body, such as a battery or computer.
· The technology has not only proven to work for a shorter period in a controlled lab environment. It is used continuously by patients during all their everyday activities, without the help of the researchers.