Engineers have developed an electronic “skin” that allows prosthetic hand users to perceive a real sense of touch.
The e-dermis, when layered on top of the prosthetic hands, restores the sensation of touch through the fingertips. Engineers at Johns Hopkins University published findings Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics.
“This is interesting and new because now we can have a prosthetic hand that is already on the market and fit it with an e-dermis that can tell the wearer whether he or she is picking up something that is round or whether it has sharp points,” Luke Osborn, a graduate student in biomedical engineering at Hopkins, said in a press release.
Working with researchers from the Singapore Institute of Neurotechnology, the Hopkins engineers developed a biological template.
The e-dermis conveys information to the amputee by stimulating peripheral nerves in the arm in a non-invasive way — through the skin.