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DARPA Researchers Test Brain-Controlled Robotic Prosthetic Hand

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HandThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have partnered to develop a neurally-interfaced prosthetic hand that is designed to help people with paralysis.

DARPA said Friday the prosthesis used neurotechnology to help a 28-year-old paralyzed man feel sensations and pinpoint which of his robotic fingers was being pressed while he was blindfolded during a study.

DARPA built the hand through its Revolutionizing Prosthetics program.

“By wiring a sense of touch from a mechanical hand directly into the brain, this work shows the potential for seamless biotechnological restoration of near-natural function,” said Justin Sanchez, a DARPA program manager.

APL designed the mechanical hand with torque sensors that work to help the wearer discern when pressure is applied to the fingers by transmitting electrical signals to the person’s sensory cortex, DARPA noted.

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