DARPA has been spending a lot of money in the last decade developing advanced prosthetic technologies to help wounded military folks get back to a normal life. While the organization has helped develop the highly articulating Luke Arm, it doesn’t have the sense of touch, a major component of a true prosthetic that amputees really look forward to. To help with that, DARPA announced that it’s approved funding for Phase 1 of its Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program.
The teams receiving the funds, which include Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Draper Laboratory and others, will be using intramuscular electrodes to control prostheses while sending touch sensor data back to the brain to be interpreted as tactile sensation.
Here’s a video DARPA put together previewing some of the technologies that may play a role in the HAPTIX project:
(hat tip: Robohub)