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Prosthetics

Good Thinking

Bringing life-saving tech to conflict zones

There are tens of millions trapped in conflict zones at the moment, having to live in desperate conditions and uncertainty. Cut off from basic services, those people need to rely on humanitarian aid to survive. A new partnership recently launched in Lausanne, Switzerland, will leverage the possibilities of new technologies so aid agencies can provide solutions where they are needed most.
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Science

First bionic fingertip implant delivers sensational results

Dennis Aabo Sørensen may be missing a hand, but he nonetheless recently felt rough and smooth textures using a fingertip on that arm. The fingertip was electronic, and was surgically hard-wired to nerves in his upper arm. He is reportedly the first person in the world to recognize texture using a bionic fingertip connected to electrodes that were surgically implanted above his stump.Read More

Robotics

Wearable third arm gives drummers extra robotic rhythm

Thumping out as many drum beats in 60 seconds may get you a podium spot at the annual World's Fastest Drummer competition, but we'll take the full kit virtuoso playing of Cozy Powell, Philthy Animal Taylor or Mitch Mitchell any day of the week. When trying to emulate the fastest or the greatest on your bedroom bin-bashers, though, you'd be forgiven for wishing you had a third arm. Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg and his research team may have the answer to your prayers. They've developed a drumstick-wielding wearable robotic limb that's able to respond to both the music being played and the movements of the player.Read More

Science

Mind-controlled prosthetic allows movement of individual fingers

Using the mind to control prosthetic limbs is a bold idea that is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to several important advances in neuroscience and robotics in the last couple of years. Now a team of researchers is claiming another significant breakthrough in this area, building a prosthetic arm whose individual fingers can be controlled via the mind, right down to the pinkie. Read More

Pets

Titanium-alloy legs keep disabled cat mobile

When Vincent was found abandoned as a kitten, he had no hind legs below what would be considered his shinbones. But thanks to the kindness of strangers, some titanium implants and the skills of a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, Vincent can now walk on all fours ... albeit not with the grace of a normal feline.Read More

Robotics

Electronic skin could give prostheses and robots a sense of touch

Our sense of touch is made possible thanks to thousands of "mechanoreceptors," which are distributed throughout our skin. The more pressure that's applied to one of these sensors, the more electrical pulses it sends to the brain, thus increasing the tactile sensation that we experience. Led by Prof. Zhenan Bao, scientists at Stanford University have now created synthetic skin that contains electronic mechanoreceptors, which could give prosthetic limbs or robots a sense of touch.Read More

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