Bionic Finger Now Able to Feel Textures

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The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) has succeeded in creating a bionic fingertip able to distinguish between textures such as rough and smooth. Dennis Aabo Sørensen, who lost his left hand, was chosen to test out the device. He said the sensations it gave him were almost like what you'd feel with your own hand.

Sørensen has electrodes implanted above the stump on his left forearm. Last year, they were used to connect a bionic hand that could recognize both shape and softness. This year, the electrodes were connected to the fingertip, which was tested on several pieces of differently textured plastic. Sørensen reported that he could feel the patterns "at the tip of the index finger of [his] phantom hand". He was able to correctly distinguish between surfaces 96% of the time.

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