Two years from the start of the project, the SOMA plenary meeting took place for the first time in Rome, at the Campus Bio-Medico University (CREO Lab). The project is led by Professor Loredana Zollo, head of the Unit of Advanced Robotics and Human-Centred Technologies. It is funded by the EU in the framework of the FET Open Horizon 2020 call. The project addresses several challenges in the field of upper limb neuroprostheses, as it aims to develop low invasive and high selective solutions for interfacing with the peripheral nervous system. The core of the project is the use of miniature interfacing systems for the return of a wide range of somatic sensations (tactile, thermal and even pain) and its aim is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed interface on an amputee. To allow such sensory and motor control of the prostheses, the researchers plan to develop an in vitro model of muscle and skin with nerve endings, using the most advanced engineering technologies.
The research sees the collaboration of an international network that involves the Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik, the University College of London, the Imperial College London, the Federico II University of Naples, the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona and Össur.