The advances in prosthetic limb technology are almost unbelievable, as they now almost allow the user to use and control his or hers prosthetic limbs as though they were their real limbs.The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is among the research entities that are noted for taking this technology the furthest, and they are now using recent breakthroughs in their neurotechnological research in order to allow a paralyzed user to feel objects through a very sensitive prosthetic – so sensitive that the user can discern what every one of the fingers touches.
DARPA has gone on record today detailing how they enabled a 28-year-old paralyzed man to feel how he touched an object with his prosthetic hand. The hand is connected directly to his brain. Their own Revolutionizing Prosthetics program enabled this development, because it differs from your usual prostheses research.
This development is exciting because finally both paralyzed individuals and individuals who have lost one or more of their limbs will someday in the future be able to establish sophisticated control over their prosthetics, and feel all sorts of sensations through them as well.
The volunteer man had electrodes placed on his brain’s sensory cortex and arrays on his brain’s motor context, allowing him to both feel sensations and detect movement of his body through the sensors in the robotic hand which relayed that information back to his brain through the electrodes and arrays. We agree with DARPA that this is "breaking new neurotechnological ground" and can’t wait to see what they will be up to next.