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A Smart Artificial Hand for Amputees Merges User, Robotic Control

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The robot hand pours a drink.

Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannein Switzerland have successfully tested new neuroprosthetic technology that combines robotic control with users voluntary control.

Credit: Alain Herzog/EPFL

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland are developing new approaches for improved control of robotic hands for amputees that combine individual finger control and automation for improved grasping and manipulation.

The team successfully tested the proof-of-concept device on three amputees and seven healthy subjects.

The technology combines neuroengineering and a robotic system that allows the prosthetic hand to take hold of objects and maintain contact with them for robust grasping.

The system learns how to decode user intention and translates it into finger movement of the prosthetic hand.

Said EPFL researcher Silvestro Micera, "Our shared approach to control robotic hands could be used in several neuroprosthetic applications such as bionic hand prostheses and brain-to-machine interfaces, increasing the clinical impact and usability of these devices."

From Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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