Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have created an artificial fingertip that is connected directly to the nervous systems of an amputee. Using a fingertip covered with high-tech sensors, a patient has been able to feel different textures, grainy and smooth surfaces. The engineers have already integrated the bionic fingertip into a prosthetic hand.
Feeling texture with a bionic fingertip
Silvestro Micera, head of the translational neural engineering lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, said:
“The more we are able to reach the complexity of the natural sense of touch, the more usable the device will be”.
How it works:
Sensors in the bionic fingertip generate a series of electrical signals that imitate the native signals of the nervous system and deliver directly to patient’s nerves. He could recognize material’s texture 96% of the time, using only the bionic device. The researchers said, that their patient’s brain activity during the whole experiment was identical to the brain activity of a completely healthy non-amputees. So, the bionic fingertip lets amputee feel different textures and exactly imitate the feeling of touch from real fingers.
For more information, visit: EPFL.