The Robot Hand Technology To Work As Fast As the Human Hand

The Robot Hand Technology To Work As Fast As the Human Hand

The robot hand works on the signals generated from electrodes that are placed in the brain of partly paralyzed patients. The brain directs the robot hand to place and picks objects from one corner to another.

The Robot Hand Technology To Work As Fast As the Human Hand

For the first time ever a robot hand can sense the object that is been picked under the guidance of the patient. The speed of the robot arm is now approaching the speed of a normal human being.

The Robot Hand Technology To Work As Fast As the Human Hand

The first-ever patient to get the electrodes placed in the sensory cortex of his brain at the age of 34 is Nathan Copeland, who lives in Dunbar, Pa. The robot hand informs the brain whether it’s got a firm grip on the objects or not.

“I could see the hand was touching the object, but I also had that extra reassurance and confidence that I definitely had made contact and I was applying a certain amount of pressure,” states Nathan. “I knew if I went to lift the object off the table, it wouldn’t fall out of my grasp.”

However, Copeland submitted his sensory feedback to the lab, and “Copeland dramatically slashed the amount of time it took him to use the robot hand to pick up and move objects in lab experiments”, said Jennifer Collinger, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“When he had sensory feedback, that was cut in half, to 10 seconds,” Collinger said. “It wasn’t a small improvement. It was quite dramatic. He was actually able to do this many times less than 5 seconds, which is considered a normal time for an able-bodied person.”

In the start, researchers focused more on implanting the electrodes in the motor cortex part in the brain that controls the movement.

They also proved that the computer could interpret the signals sent by the motor cortex which could further be used for guiding robot hand or cursor on the computer. However, the researchers have now shifted their attention towards the information sent by the limbs to the brain in motion.

The brain is filled with feedback data, when an average individual attempts to pick and place objects, which in turn helps them to pick up the objects properly or with the required force needed to adjust the grip based on the weight of the object.

“The sensory piece of what we do as humans to make that happen is really important,” said David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“It’s difficult to perform a task like that without having constant sensory feedback about where your hand is in space if your hand is grasping the object too soft, too hard.”

However, the doctors said that this technology wouldn’t be accessible and recognized anytime soon. “This is the first step in a technology that’s incredibly invasive.

It requires open brain surgery. You’re implanting electrodes that have a limited useful life span in the brain tissue,” says David. “It’s a long way to go before this is being used mainstream in the home.”

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