British Teenager Gets a Robotic Hand

April 26th, 2013 | Robot

Robotic Hand

Robotic Hand

Robotic Hand

Robotic Hand

A British teenager was recently outfitted with the world’s most advanced robotic hand, and he loves it. Patrick Kane was only 9-months-old when he was striken with a septic attack from Neisseria meningitidis.

Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria meningitidis bacterium

Infection with the bacteria leads to rapid onset fever, headache, dizziness, nausea, anorexia, stiff neck, and in some cases, amputation is necessary to stop it. Patrick lost all the fingers from his left hand, part of each finger on his right hand, and his right leg below the knee as a result.

Fortunately, Patrick’s family was able to help pay for a £25,000-£80,000 ($40,000 – $125,000) i-limb ultra revolution robotic hand that has simply changed his life.  The new prosthetic can be controlled through an app with an iPhone to select from 24 unique programs.  Each program will select a unique functional grip specialized to perform different tasks like holding a cup of water or typing on the keyboard.

Here are the official specifications from Touch Bionics:

“i-limb ultra revolution features:

  • Powered rotating thumb and individually articulating fingers offering unparalleled dexterity and reliable access to precision grip patterns.
  • New biosim mobile control application compatible with latest Apple® products gives the wearer greatly expanded control capability via 24 Quick Grips each from a single screen tap.
  • New remote electrodes offer a higher level of sensitivity giving the wearer enhanced control.
  • A variety of flexible wrist options enabling more natural positioning of hand when gripping or picking up objects.
  • Aesthetic covering options available via the livingskin product line, including i-limb skin natural and i-limb skin match covers customized to match skin tone and appearance.

biosim mobile control app features:

  • 24 Quick Grips – Instant access to grip patterns with a single screen tap greatly expands prosthesis control.
  • Favorites – Editable collections of grips customized for daily needs. For example, wearers can select the ‘work’ favorite, which triggers the i-limb into preferred grips such as typing, holding papers, or using a mouse.
  • Hand Health Check – Activates prosthesis diagnostic to ensure the i-limb is functioning properly.
  • Training – Access training modes to help the wearer learn how to access all of the functionality available.
  • Compatibility – Available for download on Apple App Store and compatible with several Apple devices.”

It would be nice if the grips could somehow be accessed in a more intuitive way, something apart from the iPhone.  I can’t imagine it’s easy to open up the iPhone every time you want to switch to a new programmed grip.  Nonetheless, it’s always nice to see victims of terrible diseases thrive with new technology.


[via Laughing Squid]

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