Researchers from Rice University and the University of Pisa have combined their work to produce the first step towards developing a prosthetic with muscle sensation.
This is a highly significant development as one of the largest hurdles to overcome in prosthetics was the lack of muscle sensation. Scientists were able to create highly functional prosthetic limbs but the lack of feedback can make operating the prosthetic a difficult and some impossible task.
This prosthetic is unique in that it uses non-invasive haptic feedback to transmit sensation to the user. Called the 'Rice Haptic Rocker,' the device sits on the users upper arm and a soft rubber patch moves with the prosthetic. "Based on this tactile feedback, the wearer is able to infer the relative position of the prosthetic without having to actively look at it".