Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have developed a system that s enabling a man with quadriplegia to experience the sensation of touch through a robotic arm that he controls with his brain.
I can feel just about every finger—it s a really weird sensation.
Prosthetic limbs are getting better all the time, but they re still not able to convey the sense of touch to the user.
Without it, we wouldn t be able to tell the difference between a piece of cake or the fork we use to take a bite out of it.
A research team led by Robert A. Gaunt from the University of Pittsburgh is the first to develop a system that overcomes this limitation, allowing a paralysed 28-year-old man to feel objects through a robotic limb.
To make it work, the researchers implanted tiny microelectrode arrays—each about the size of a shirt button—into the primary somatosensory cortex of the patient s brain—the part of the brain that receives all sensory input from the body.