Prosthetic Limb ‘Sees’ What Its User Wants to Grab | Innovation | Smithsonian


Prototype of the hand that sees - fitted with a 99p camera.JPG

A prosthetic hand outfitted with an inexpensive webcam lets its user grab objects with less effort. (Newcastle University, UK)

MAY 23, 2017 1:48PM


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When you grab something, your hand does most of the work. Your brain just says, “go, you don’t worry about how it happens.” But with a prosthetic, even the most advanced, that action requires much more intentionality. As a result, many patients abandon their state-of-the-art limbs.

Modern prosthetics receive commands in the form of electrical signals from the muscles they’re attached to. But even the best prosthetics can’t do much yet. Users need a long training period to get used to the limb. They can often only move in limited ways, and users need to manually switch between grips to accomplish different tasks—say, to open a door versus pinch and turn a key. All in all, it means the hand can’t work seamlessly with the brain

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