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    Prosthetic Hands That Sense Touch

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Last Updated 2020-02-23T14:30:05Z
    Current prosthetic hands do little beyond filling the arm-shaped space between your body and the air.

    Sure, they can grasp things all right, and they help in balance, but they lack one of the human hand’s most important abilities—the sense of touch.

    People with prosthetics can’t detect if they’re in contact with an object without looking at it directly.

    A research team at the University of Chicago has solved this problem, producing hands that send electric signals to the brain.

    They’ve begun with monkeys as test subjects, studying the animals to see how their brains respond to touch.

    When outfitted with prosthetic hands that stimulate their brains that way, the monkeys respond just as though they physically touch objects themselves.

    Programming these same signals into artificial human limbs would give amputees replacement hands unlike anything we’ve developed before.

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