People who have lost a hand can face real challenges, but computer technology is making prosthetics smarter than ever.
Ever since Captain Hook, people have sought ways to make prosthetic hands more useful. Enormous strides have been made to restore functionality of the human hand, with robotic prosthetics that can move in response to signals from the wearer’s body. Esper Bionics is a company that has developed a hand that relies on artificial intelligence to improve the connection between the wearer’s brain and the robotic hand. The system learns to recognize different movements and actions, and uses this information to control the grip more precisely. As a result, dexterity and control can improve over time. The company has a video that shows wearers performing common tasks such as cutting fruit with a knife, brushing hair, painting, and even putting on makeup. The result is a prosthetic hand that allows the wearer to act more naturally and thus feel more comfortable about using the prosthetic device.