The Economist recently featured Research Park company, PSYONIC for their work transforming lives and fostering innovation. Recent breakthroughs in 3D printing have lowered barriers and have enabled the creation of simple and functional prosthetics like the ones PSYONIC creates.
In 2011, Ivan Owen, a design pioneer, uploaded a YouTube clip of his self built “mechanical hand.” After viewers saw this video, it became an extremely important artifact in the history of manufacturing prosthetics. He partnered with Richard Van As, a finger amputee from South Africa to create a set of artificial fingers. They soon developed a child-sized prosthetic that was later tested on a South African boy.
In April, researchers at the University of Illinois revealed an algorithm that controls the flow of electricity sent through the device to the wearer’s nerve endings when the prosthetic limb comes in contact with a physical surface. “We want users to be able to reliably feel things as delicate as a child’s hand” Aadeel Akhtar, the device’s creator says. As these technologies develop along with the 3D pringer, people with limb differences will benefit from renewed feelings in the near future.
To read the full story, click here.