Monday, August 13, 2007

Bionic hand provides abilities not previously availble in a prosthetic

Like so many other things, technology continues to evolve. This evolution will eventually make more and more fictional artifacts into realities.

Take for instance, the fictional television show from three decades ago, that pitched the idea of a bionic man. That is getting to be more of a reality with each technological advance. The latest one being the
i-Limb Hand,
manufactured by Touch Bionics of Scotland.

The manufacturer claims that the I-Limb Hand is the first commercially available prosthetic hand in which individual motors controls each of the jointed fingers. This innovation allows the fingers to move independently and lets the user exercise a more natural grip. The control the user has will let the user do tasks which have been impossible with previous prosthetic hands, such as holding and turning a key or pointing a finger.

The new-found freedom the device provides is not cheap, though. The I-Limb Hand costs approximately $18,000, two times the cost of normal prosthetics.

Still, I believe that if I were in need of a prosthetic, I would want the model that would give me the most usability and would diligently work to find the funding to make a reality out of what had been previously only available in fiction.

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