Back in May of 2010, we told you about an awesome Terminator-style robot hand gaining FDA approval. Now a person who has benefited from the Bebionic3 prosthetic hand demonstrates just how awesome it is. Nigel Ackland, 53, lost a hand in an accident six years ago. He’s been using a robot hand from RSLSteeper since last November, and he’s already able to type, deal playing cards, cook, and tie his shoes without assistance. Movements in his upper arm control the carbon fiber robot hand and its wrist rotation.
In the video below, Ackland answers questions about what his new hand can do. “Someone asked me if I could do the international signal for road rage. Yes, I can, and I can also rotate it a full 360,” he says, holding up his fully-rotating robot hand. Sign us up for one of those. No, two of those, so we can perform a double flip 360.
There’s another interesting implication here as well.
Instead of merely mimicking the motions of a biological hand, he utilizes the bebionic3′s ability to rotate completely around the wrist to grab a jug. [...] What he’s doing is adapting the technology to do things that are hard for a human hand to do. A key step in transitioning prostheses from the world of medical support equipment to cybernetic enhancements are these little, everyday uses. They show the potential for artificial hands to be not just equivalent, but superior to a human hand. [Singularity Hub]
Well, that settles it. I’m trading in my hands for some of these double-flippin’ cybernetic enhancements.