A mechanical hand utilizing DARPA-developed neural technologies has become the first to allow a paralyzed patient to feel physical sensations through a prosthesis.
The 28 year-old test subject was able to determine which mechanical finger was being touched whilst blindfolded, with total accuracy.
The identity of the patient has not been disclosed for privacy reasons, however a DARPA press release states that he was left paralyzed due to severe spinal injuries. In the past, test subjects have been able to manipulate prostheses via thought alone, but the technology had been a one-way street. An individual could send signals to the hand from the brain in order to control the prosthesis but received no tactile sensory data in return, making it difficult to direct precise movements.