In the last few years, the field of prosthetics has seen great technological advances. While bionic prosthetics continue to become more accessible, U.K.-based prosthetic developers have created the most advanced model in the world — and it's partially controlled with an app.
Researchers at Touch Bionics developed the bionic prosthetic called the i-Limb Ultra Revolution. The i-Limb gives more dexterity, moving like a natural hand. It has a rotating thumb, and every finger is individually powered, so each can bend at the natural joints, making it easy to grip, hold and pick up objects.
Its grip chips use Bluetooth technology and an iPhone app called my i-Limb that allows the user to choose from among 36 grip patterns and gestures. These grip patterns help easily complete everyday tasks like using an index finger to text, pinch a chess piece or flip through a magazine. And users can also customize their grip pattern so that they can hold a pool stick, or click a computer mouse.
The i-limb revolution also has pulsing and variable-grip features that increase the pressure when gripping an object, ideal for tying a shoelace or carrying something heavy in your hand. It's autograsp feature prevents objects from accidentally slipping in the bionic hand.
The only downside is that the prosthetic is not waterproof.
The company has also developed i-Limb Skin Active, a skin to protect the prosthetic, that is made with a thin layer of semitransparent clear or black computer-modeled material, as well as i-Limb Skin Natural and Match, a silicon covering that resembles a real hand.
The technology helps amputees complete tasks that many of us take for granted. Check out the i-Limb Revolution in the videos below.
Photo: Touch Bionics