Researchers from Saarland University in Germany have built a bionic hand from bundles of smart wires, which look like a biological hands and these bionic hand also works more like a real hand. This new device is lighter than the commonly used bionic hands, which will provide solution to the heaver prosthetic hands.
Whenever you move a part of your body, your brain sends an electrical signal through the spinal cord to the appropriate muscle fibers. That signal allows the movement of the muscle fibers like tightening. When muscle fiber contracts, then whole muscle gets shorter, allowing the movement of bones attached to the muscle fibers. Taking inspiration from the biological muscle fibers, the researchers have made this new bionic hand with bundles of the smart wires. The strands of nickel titanium wire have been used to create the muscle like fibers, whose width is equal to human hair.
Stefan Seelecke, a professor at Saarland University in Germany has explained, “This enables us to build particularly lightweight systems, and the fact that they come in the form of wires enables us to use them as artificial muscles, or artificial tendons. So we can build systems with those that can be like bio-inspired, look-to-nature for a successful prototype, and that’s what we realized with this first prototype of a robotic hand using shape-memory alloy wires”
It is a very well-designed and effective device with long eluded bionic limbs. The new system uses smart wires to respond to the electrical signals, rather than use of heavy external sensors. When the electric charge is on, then the muscle contracts and when it is turned off it returns to its normal structure. This device also requires only one semiconductor chip to remember the original shape of the wire, which is much different the multiple heavy external sensors.
This bionic hand is still in the early stage of development, as the researchers are eager to improve this technology, so that in future it can be used to creating prosthetic limbs, which will look and function more like the biological limbs. The researchers are also hopeful that one day it will offer more natural options to the people, who need the prosthetic product.