The technology that puts the human touch into prostheses
Mark Miodownik: The touch-sensitive technology used in smartphones is helping to create a revolution in artificial limbs
Prosthetic limbs have been going through a bit of a revolution of late. It was not that long ago that the best an amputee could hope for was a cable-controlled pincer hook. Now a person who loses a hand can get a robotic replacement with fully working fingers that allows them to grip and manipulate objects and manage complicated tasks like tying shoelaces or dealing playing cards. This rapid development has been a by-product of the telecommunications revolution, which by making the smartphone a mass-market item has leveraged both the production of cheap superfast silicon chips, and the price of the lithium batteries used to power them.
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