Five years ago, aspiring musician Jason Barnes from Georgia was electrocuted by high-voltage power lines while cleaning a rooftop vent hood at the restaurant he was working at. After a near-death experience, Barnes survived – but lost his right arm just below the elbow.
image/text credit: Georgia Tech
Using a basic self-designed drumming prosthetic, he kept going – until he was put in touch with roboticist Gil Weinberg at Georgia Tech, who built a robotic prosthesis with not one, but two drumsticks.One of the drumsticks Barnes can control with his own arm muscles through electromyography (EMG) sensors that send the impulses between his arm and the prosthetic.
A prosthesis with ultrasound technology is allowing an amputee to control each of his prosthetic fingers individually.It provides fine motor hand gestures that aren’t possible with current commercially available devices.
It also inches closer to the reality of Luke Skywalker’s bionic hand.Additionally, the prosthetic has different hand modes that can be switched with the press of a button – technology that’s common in a lot of prostheses available today.