How Bionics Are Behaving More and More Like Real Limbs

Some bionic limbs even offer a sense of touch.
Loukia Papadopoulos

The technology of prosthetics has really advanced in the last few years. More than ever, prosthetics are being engineered to look, move, and feel more like real limbs through the use of bionics. This adds another level of comfort for those who have to use them.

So what makes bionic limbs so much better than ordinary prosthetics? It all comes down to how they’re controlled.

Bionic limbs are externally powered and controlled through electric signals from the muscles or nerves above the level of amputation. Some bionic limbs even manage to offer a sense of touch. 

Touch is crucial to our functioning in everyday scenarios. It not only prevents injuries but it also allows us to situate ourselves. And researchers have now succeeded in partially endowing amputees with the sense of touch on their bionic hands. This was done by using electrodes to feed precise electrical stimulation to their arms at the point of amputation. Amputees reported being able to distinguish hard from soft objects.