Future of prosthetics: Bionic hand lets you feel what you are holding

This bionic hand allows the user to be able to hold objects and feel what the object is, in real-time.

It has allowed its wearer to feel things in a ‘natural’ way as it combines man and machine.

The researchers behind the EU funded Project NEBIAS believe that, after testing, the prosthetic may on the market in 10 years time.

It works by connecting the existing, and still functioning, nervous system with artificial sensors in the hand to allow it to be moved.

“It is a sort hybrid between a normal part of the body and an artificial part of the body”, said Professior Paili Maria Rossini who worked on the project.

hand2

The hand was given to Dennis Aabo Sørensen whose hand was amputated 10 years ago, the same amount of time that the hand has been being developed for.

He originally lost it in a firework accident.

Dennis tested the hand while being blindfolded and feeling the objects that he was able to grasp with the hand.

“They gave me a baseball to hold and for the first time in a decade I could feel I was holding something round in my prosthetic hand,” he said.

“To feel what you’re doing again is an amazing feeling and also so close to be a natural hand because you don’t have to supervise what you’re doing you can actually feel what you’re doing with your hand.


To make him be able to feel again the researchers say that they had to create a selective implantable neuro-interface.

Dr Silvestro Micera explained: “Selective means, for example, that when I’m talking to you in a crowd, I’m not talking to a guy sitting close to you. In other words, the electrodes have an interface with some areas of the nerves and not with others close by.”

The hand has also been fitted with a series of sensors that can detect touch; this data is then sent to the patient so they are able to control it.

The researchers hope to have three or four patients with a long term implants in the next couple of years, with a view to making the device commercially available after clinical testing.


Images courtesy of Project NEBIAS


Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC