Prosthetic Arm Which Can Sense Touch and Move with Your Thoughts
For anyone, picking up an egg is nothing but typical, except for Keven Walgamott who had a good feeling when he picked up an egg without crushing it. It felt like a Herculean task for Walgamott who had lost his left hand in an electrical accident seventeen years ago. He was testing a prototype of a high-tech prosthetic arm with fingers that can do more than just moving; it can proceed with his thoughts.
This was made possible thanks to a biomedical team at the University of Utah. They made it possible for him to feel the egg well enough so his brain can tell the prosthetic arm not to squeeze it. The team led by a biomedical engineering associate professor Gregory Clark developed a way for the LUKE Arm, named after the robotic hand that Luke Skywalker had in ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ to imitate the way human hands feel on objects by sending correct signals to the brain.
According to George, they changed the way we are sending information to the brain so that it matches the human body. He added that by matching the human body, they were able to see improved benefits and is making biologically realistic signs.
This meant that an amputee wearing the prosthetic arm could sense the touch of something hard or soft, understand better how to pick things up and perform delicate tasks which would at times be possible with a standard prosthetic with metal claws or hooks for hands.
According to Walgamott, it almost put him to tears when he used the LUKE Arm for the first time in a clinical test in 2017. He felt that it was terrific, and he never thought he would be able to believe in that hand again. He is a real estate agent from West Valley City, Utah and was one of the seven test subjects at the University of Utah.