Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy for the kid, but - Bionic Hand Gives Student New Lease on Life - January 21, 2009
Photo credit: AP

A student who lost his left hand in an accident three years ago has been fitted with the world’s most sophisticated prosthetic limb.

Evan Reynolds, 19, took only minutes to learn how to manipulate the i-LIMB, which is operated by tiny sensors resting against his arm muscles.

With his new hand he can now pick up a paper cup filled with water, peel a carrot or walk down the street eating chips, all activities he could only dream about before.

The $15,000 i-LIMB was developed by the Scottish company Touch Bionics and Reynolds is only the second person in the U.K. to be fitted with one. Unlike previous prosthetics, the hand can tell how tightly it is gripping, allowing the user a large degree of control.

Reynolds, a sports biology student at University of the West of England, was in a friend’s car hanging his hand out of the window when it was taken off by a wooden gate post. His life was saved by his quick-thinking friends who applied a tourniquet and stopped him bleeding to death but the accident wrecked his dreams of joining the British Army.

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