Jacob Segil, an instructor at CU Boulder’s Engineering Plus Program and Case Western Reserve University are on a mission to help design prosthetic hands that could restore amputees’ sense of touch. They are accomplishing this innovative-yet-complex feat by using sensors in the hand that lead into the body through a neural interface.
Sigil points out that sensory prosthetics could benefit many, including Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, and encourage them to embrace high-tech prosthetics instead of dismissing them as just a tool and not as an impactful, sensory part of the body. Segil, who is also a researcher at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, received a $1 million grant from the VA to further his research.
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As of now, only four people have had the technology surgically implanted, but a new study revealed the impressive versatility of this prosthetic limb. “The hand was in a box. He (the amputee) couldn’t see it, but he could feel where the hand was in space,” Segil explained.