The field of neuroprosthetics has moved forward significantly in recent years, but the technology is still nowhere near accessible enough to make a difference in the day-to-day lives of most amputees. Nonetheless, a new development from MIT could change that. In a joint project with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the school designed a neuroprosthetic that costs about $500 in factors. It’s an inflatable side made from an elastomer announced EcoFlex and gapes a bit like Baymax from Big Hero 6.
The device foregoes electric motors in favour of a pneumatic plan that increases and deflects its balloon-like toes. The side can premise many clasps that allow an amputee to subsequently do things like baby a “cat-o-nine-tail”, pour a carton of milk or even pick up a cupcake. The maneuver decodes how its wearer wants to use it through a software program that “decodes” the EMG signals the mentality sending out an injured limb.
The prosthetic weighs approximately half a pound and can even recover some gumption of feeling for its used. It does this with a series of pressure sensors. When the wearer strokes or crushes an objective, they send an electric signal to a specific position on their amputated appendage. Another advantage of the weapon is it doesn’t make long to learn how to use it. After about 15 times, two voluntaries received they could write with a pen and stack checkers.
“This is not a product more, but the performance is already same or superior to existing neuroprosthetics, which we’re evoked about, ” said Professor Xuanhe Zhao, one of the engineers who worked on the project. “There’s huge potential to make this soft prosthetic very low cost, for low-income categories who have suffered from amputation.”
While we’re a while away from seeing this tech in the real world, the team behind the project is already working on improving the design. They want to make it better at deciphering electrical inputs and more customizable when it comes time for mass production.
Read more: engadget.com