Smart prosthetic limbs to make amputees more independent than ever

From drone-integrated hands to mind-controlled arms, here’s a list of robotic and innovative prosthetic devices that give unprecedented control to amputees.

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Prosthesis, which refers to artificial substitution to a part of the body, has evolved considerably over time. Earlier, prosthetic devices focused on replacing or replicating the lost body part and were built with wood. However, as technology evolved, prosthetic devices started becoming more and more advanced.

From built-in drones to mind-controlled prosthetics, here’s a list of some of the coolest prosthetic limbs for amputees.

Mind-controlled prosthetic arm

Mind controlled prosthesis
Credit: Chalmers University of Technology

As the name suggests, the patient can control the prosthesis with their brain and don’t require any external training. Researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Integrum AB, Medical University of Vienna, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed this bionic arm ever and published the study in 2020.

The device also has force sensors which measure contact and pressure information. This information is then fed into the user’s brain giving them the sense of touch and experience of a real hand.

Konami’s drone-integrated prosthetic device

It is an innovative bionic prototype made by gaming company Konami. The prosthetic receives signals from the user’s nerves and muscles by connecting them to the device using a harness. It also has an affixed drone. 

This drone can be controlled through sensors that are in direct contact with the skin. The prosthetic also has a laser light, flashlight, a watch, and a USB port which can be used to charge electronic devices.

In addition, a few parts can be fabricated using a 3D printer providing the user opts for replacement.

Bionic drummer arm

After an accident, drummer Jason Barnes sustained grave injuries and lost his right lower arm. He then collaborated with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s founding director Gil Weinberg to make a bionic arm that could play the drums. The prosthesis has two drumsticks. The first one is controlled physically by the arms and electronically by the EMG muscle sensors. The second stick listens to the music being played and improvises to produce a new beat.

YouBionic’s double hand prosthetic device

Credit: Youbionic

Youbionic’s 3D-printed prosthetic device is a 3D printed attachment that has two robotic hands and can be controlled by flexing individual fingers of one human hand at different speeds. 

The device is powered by the Arduino microcontroller and can perform simple to complex actions. The company is working on having the wearable accomplish tasks such as typing on a keyboard.

Superhero-themed prosthetic arms

These superhero-inspired prosthetic arms are specially designed for young children. Be it an Iron Man hand, Elsa’s glove from Frozen or a Star Wars Jedi hand, these prosthetic arms are sure to make any kid feel like their favourite fictional character. 

These prosthetic devices are made out of highly durable ABS plastic which is typically used in crafting military weapons.


Read More: WireX – September Issue

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