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Updated: December 3, 2009 15:55 IST

Now, a robotic hand that can feel!

PTI
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Amputee Pierpaolo Petruzziello touches a robotic hand during a press conference in Rome on Wednesday. Photo: AP.
Amputee Pierpaolo Petruzziello touches a robotic hand during a press conference in Rome on Wednesday. Photo: AP.

In what can be claimed a major breakthrough, scientists have connected a robotic hand to an amputee that allows him to move the fingers with his thoughts and feel sensations when touching things.

According to them, it is the first time a patient has been able to make complicated movements using their mind to control an artificial limb connected to the nervous system, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.

The scientists implanted electrodes into the patient, who had lost his left hand and forearm in a car accident. The prosthetic hand was only connected to the patient through the electrodes and not implanted on to the remains of his arm.

Paolo Rossini, who led the team, said within a month the hand obeyed 95 per cent of the commands sent by 26-year- old Pierpaolo Petruzziello’s brain. “It felt almost the same as a real hand,” he said.

He could wiggle the robotic fingers independently, make a fist, grab objects and make other movements.

The development was announced in Rome on Wenesday by a team of biomedical engineers following a month-long experiment last year.

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