Prosthetic, robotic 'Smart Hand' has feelings, too

Researchers in Italy and Sweden have spent the last ten years developing what they call the "Smart Hand," a prosthetic hand which enables feeling in its fingertips. The hand -- which was recently wired up to a test patient through a surgical procedure -- has four motors and forty sensors which are linked directly to the brain. In the surgery, the nerve endings of the patient were linked up to receptors in the hand, which allows for feeling in the fingertips of the hand, even though the hand is not really a part of his body. In the video after the break, you can see the greater precision and dexterity this hand allows for. Though the research still needs to be refined before practical use, it looks pretty far along -- and pretty awesome -- to us.