August 16, 2021
by Jennifer Chu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For the more than 5 million people in the world who have undergone an upper-limb amputation, prosthetics have come a long way. Beyond traditional mannequin-like appendages, there is a growing number of commercial neuroprosthetics—highly articulated bionic limbs, engineered to sense a user's residual muscle signals and robotically mimic their intended motions.
But this high-tech dexterity comes at a price. Neuroprosthetics can cost tens of thousands of dollars and are built around metal skeletons, with electrical motors that can be heavy and rigid.