Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a "revolutionary" hand prosthesis powered and controlled by the user's breathing. The lightweight device claims to offer an alternative to the Bowden cable-driven body-powered prosthetics which was initially developed in the early 19th century. Typically, body-powered prosthetics would require cables to send movements from the muscles and elbow joints down into the artificial limb for it to move. The breakthrough development enables a lightweight ‘hand’ to be attached to the wearer without those cable attachments. The study demonstrated that with the use of a small Tesla turbine, users can control their breathing to accurately move different fingers of the prosthetic hand. It was created so the amount of breathing required to power it is achievable for young children. The experiment has given rise to an affordable option for children and adolescents that uniquely adapts to their bodies as they grow. The gear requires minimal training to use and is easily maintained. This research could lead to more accessible prosthetics for people all over the world.
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