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Scientists unveil a helping 'Terminator' hand with the world's first bionic fingers
12-08-2009, 07:51 PM,
#1
Scientists unveil a helping 'Terminator' hand with the world's first bionic fingers
Quote:The world's first bionic fingers have been unveiled by scientists.

Made of tough, lightweight plastic and loaded with tiny motors, they can bend, grip, point and pick up items.

The brainchild of British inventors, the 'ProDigits' could transform the lives of tens of thousands of people with missing fingers by allowing them to cradle a wine glass, pick a chocolate out of a box or punch a PIN number into a cash machine.

Around 1.2million people worldwide, including more than 50,000 Europeans, are missing one or more fingers due to infections, injury or birth defects.

While people who have lost entire hands have been able to make use of prosthetic ones for decades, the options for those with less severe injuries have been limited until now.

Phil Newman, of manufacturer Touch Bionics, said: 'There has been no solution like this for the partial hand amputee community.

'The ProDigits provide a powered device with a grip and it has returned these people to a level of functionality and independence.

'It is supporting a community that has never had support before.'

The device capitalises on the brain's determination to try to move a limb or finger, even when it is missing.

Around 1.2million people worldwide, including more than 50,000 Europeans, are missing one or more fingers due to infections, injury or birth defects.

While people who have lost entire hands have been able to make use of prosthetic ones for decades, the options for those with less severe injuries have been limited until now.

Phil Newman, of manufacturer Touch Bionics, said: 'There has been no solution like this for the partial hand amputee community.

'The ProDigits provide a powered device with a grip and it has returned these people to a level of functionality and independence.

'It is supporting a community that has never had support before.'

The device capitalises on the brain's determination to try to move a limb or finger, even when it is missing.

Maria Antonia Iglesias, 42, had parts of both hands and both feet amputated after suffering a severe bacterial infection.

The former concert pianist, from Catalonia in Spain, can now write again, as well as hold cutlery, drink from a glass and pick a chocolate out of a box.

Perhaps most significantly, she is able to teach the piano again.

She said: 'The hand has made a real change to my life.'

Eric Jones, a 42-year-old father of two, lost much of the use of his left hand and the fingers and thumbs of his right to a life-threatening blood-clotting disorder.

He was fitted with ProDigits for his right hand in December of last year, and given a more advanced version this summer.

Now, he can play games with his son and daughter, pick up their Lego and take them to school.

Mr Jones, from New York, said: 'With ProDigits, I gain more independence

'The bionic hand gives me one thing that no other prosthetic can - the ability to grip.

'The hand is very easy to use, the technology is amazing.

'Touch Bionics tell me it is only going to get better but I can't imagine anything more awesome than this.'

However, the ProDigits cannot perform all the functions of real fingers. Movements outside of their reach include snapping of the fingers.

Touch Bionics, which is based in Livingston, West Lothian, also makes the world's most advanced bionic hand, the i-Limb.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1234067/Worlds-bionic-fingers-unveiled-scientists.html
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12-08-2009, 08:18 PM,
#2
RE: Scientists unveil a helping 'Terminator' hand with the world's first bionic fingers
"Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing unless you can prove it in your own research"
~William Cooper

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