Artificial Hand with a Sense of Touch — Veterans Health Administration

Army Veteran Keith Vonderhuevel reaches out to grasp an object with his prototype artificial hand that actually provides some sense of touch. VA Research Engineer Emily Graczyk assists. Photo courtesy of the VA Center of Excellence in Functional Electrical Stimulation, Cleveland

by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In that epic Star Wars movie, “The Empire Strikes Back,” Luke Skywalker gets his hand lopped off by his own father, Darth Vader, while the two are dueling with those cool light sabers.

But no worries.

In no time at all, Luke is outfitted with a brand new hand that looks and works just like the one he lost. Like it never even happened.

Well, researchers at the Cleveland VA Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University haven’t been able to achieve that kind of medical miracle yet, but recently they got a bit closer when they developed an artificial hand that provides something similar to a sense of touch.

“If the amputee is actually able to feel something, you’re getting close to creating a naturally functioning prosthetic hand…something that actually feels like a part of you,” said Dustin Tyler, director of VA’s artificial hand project at…

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