Perhaps one of the most profound and underappreciated aspects of being alive is the ability to reach out to the world the face of a loved one. For those who have lost their hand or arm, prosthetics may or may not But scientists at the University of Utah say they've created some technology.
But according to the team, the sensations are people using them are limited and imprecise.
The technology is the result of a collaboration between several institutions, not just the University of Utah, according to Gregory Clark, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the university. One major contribution by the University's researchers was the development of the Utah Slanted Electrode Array (USEA). The USEA, Clark told Gizmodo, provides an interface between a prosthetic hand and the user's remaining sensory and motor nerves in their arm;
"He reached out, putting his two hands together, moving them and rubbing them against one another, feeling with his prosthetic hand as if he were almost real, and feeling maybe almost whole again, for the first time in nearly 15 years. "
This happens through the surgical implantation. They can "record from (listen to) or stimulate (talk to) small subsets of nerve fibers very selectively, and reasonably comprehensively," Clark explained via email.