Motherboard has a great article and video about a prosthetic that can be controlled by the users thought. However, that is not where the awesome stops. This system actually gives the user an actual sense of touch through the prosthetic.
This is amazing stuff. In the user’s case, it did require remapping of some nerves, so this would be an invasive implementation for the average person. Regardless, this sort of 2 way communication between us and a mechanical device is a critical component towards intuitive Mechs/exoskeletons/robotic suits/etc. With such augmented strength, (even with our own natural strength) sensory feedback is crucial to avoid damaging items we touch, and to avoid damaging ourselves, or that of our mechanical appendages. If you are in a Mech suit, say rescuing people form a disaster area, a car crash, anything… you cannot grab a living victim without the risk of causing them more harm if you don’t have the ability to sense how much pressure you are placing on them.
I don’t propose we have Mech users/pilots/wearers remove limbs and have nerves rerouted to facilitate this need. This is version 1, and it is not applicable for most. However, the technology will advance and become more adaptable for others, without such extreme measures to implement it.
With that said, its amazing, its a major stepping stone, and I’m excited for the users to regain some of their lost abilities!
Watch the video below, & check out Motherboard’s full article on it here!