A father and son team named Peter Binkley and Peregrine Hawthorn have worked together to create a prosthetic hand for Hawthorn to use. The hand is called the Talon Hand 2.0 and was built on a Solidoodle 3D printer. We talked about the Solidoodle 3D printer when it launched back in 2012.
Researchers around the world are working to create more lifelike prosthetic hands and other limbs for amputees. Prosthetic hands have been around for years in multiple forms, typically nothing more than a plastic hand or hook that gives the user rudimentary functionality if any at all.
Mister Trevor Prideaux, a British man born without an arm on the left side of his body, now has what we're pretty sure is the world's first prosthetic limb with a built-in smartphone dock. Not only that, but he's using the cool Nokia C7, a device that not only Chris Davies reviewed here on SlashGear, your humble narrator Chris Burns wrote a review for the USA side of things as well. Now one of these magical little devices sits in the hardened arm of a Brit - hows that for taking your "handicap" and making it work in your favor. Plain old human arm not looking so good to you now, is it?
There have been great advances in the use of prosthetic limbs, making them lighter, more comfortable, and easier to move. Scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Bionic Medicine are working on a project to create a robotic prosthesis that would be controlled by the person's own nervous system, and powered so that it can move on its own.
Most prosthetic limb replacements focus on returning regular movements to those who need them. Prosthetic legs move in a natural way, or as best as they can, while prosthetic arms usually have a regular five-fingered hand at the end, helping those who have lost a limb use their artificial ligament in a more natural fashion. But, when a student is asked to "push the boundaries" of upper-limb prosthetic design, you shouldn't expect to find a design you'd find in the box.
There are untold numbers of people around the world who have lost the use of their limbs from accident or illness that have new hope of being able to use the limb again thanks to some cool research at SMU. A researcher named Marc Christensen has developed a new fiber optic nerve system that may one day allow for a functional link between the brain and an advanced prosthetic limb.
Most people that loose a limb end up with a ridged prosthetic that doesn't allow the person any grip or use of the limb. Losing a hand means a huge change in the lifestyle of the person with things that used to take no thought becoming serious issues such as tying shoes or putting on a belt.
A team at Vanderbilt University has been hard at work and has come up with a prosthetic arm whose characteristics are far closer to that of an actual human arm than anything else so far. The weight is pretty close to the same and its capacity for lifting and other tasks is pretty on par too.
I guess the biggest problem with battery powered arms was that in order for the arm to be able to lift anything it required a huge battery causing for a significant increase in weight making the bionic arm feel even more alien. This rocket-fuelled/steam-powered arm solves that problem by creating enough power on the fly to lift stuff and still managing to keep it all in a compact package.
If you're still not used to seeing electric wheelchairs, robotic prosthetics, and other forms of hi-tech assistive technology in public places, it would be best to catch up with the times as a new one just joined the list. The US Food and Drug Administration has just given the thumb up to the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton, paving the way for similar machines that will help those who have lost mobility to get back on their feet.
Toyota is rolling out new versions of its assist robotics, updating its "bionic leg" and balance-gamification system for rehabilitation and testing them out in Japanese hospitals. The Walk Training Assist and Balance Training Assist hardware aim to help paralyzed or recovering patients to regain their mobility skills, and are now more responsive to different degrees of rehab.