In the burgeoning field of bionic limbs, thought-controlled arms and hands connected to the central nervous system are still a ways off from becoming mainstream, due to the complexities of having them surgically installed. In the meantime, a new bionic hand may offer a simpler solution.
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Touch Bionics, a prosthetic technologies company, recently announced that their i-limb ultra revolution will be the first upper limb prosthesis controlled by a smartphone app.
The bionic hand features four individually articulating fingers and a rotating thumb that can either be controlled by the wearer's muscle signals or the new Quick Grip app system that automatically forms the hand into preset grip patterns for more precise gestures. By tapping the app, soon available on the latest Apple products, users can access 24 pre-programmed motions that assist with picking up objects, grasping tools or shoe-tying, to name just three.
"We believe that the i-limb ultra revolution, with powered thumb rotation and the ability to quickly access multiple grip patterns, offers unparalleled dexterity and control, enabling wearers to more easily perform activities of daily living and thus increase their quality of life," Ian Stevens, CEO of Touch Bionics, said in a press release.
The cache of grips can even be customized for daily tasks. For example, wears could make a "work" folder for on-the-job gestures such as typing, paper-holding and mouse-clicking.
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Training and diagnostic systems also come with the bionic hand, which is covered by customizable high-definition silicone. For price and insurance inquiries, Touch Bionics recommends contacting the company here. Check out the i-limb in action in this video and be sure to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.
Credit: Touch Bionics