It’s a world first
British scientists are working on a £1.4m project to create a bionic hand similar to the futuristic limb wielded by Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies.
Engineers are currently working on making a prosthetic hand that can sense temperature and pressure, feeding the information into the user’s brain via electrodes on the nerve endings of the arm.
This would be a global first. Only in the last 10 years or so have amputees been able to move prosthetic limbs using impulses in their arm muscles, but never have they been able to sense temperature or pressure.
Dr Rory O’Connor, senior lecturer in rehabilitation medicine at the University of Leeds, said to the Yorkshire Evening Post: “These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas. We start work now and have the challenge of delivering workable devices in three years.
“The current designs are like a plug and socket.
“Patients tell us they want something more intuitive [which]closely replicates the natural movement and feel of a real hand.
“That is what we hope to achieve.”
Here’s a video from Popular Science, showing the technology available to amputees at the moment.