High-tech bionic hand invented in England

July 19, 2007

The new, high-tech i-LIMB bionic hand, with five motorized fingers, will soon be sold in Britain for about $17,000, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

Until now, amputees have been fitted with artificial hands that use a thumb and two fingers to produce a simple claw grip, however, the British-invented i-LIMB allows patients to control five digits separately, using tiny muscle movements picked up by electrodes attached to the forearm, the newspaper said.

Those wearing the devices can do pretty much anything they could do before they lost their hands -- from typing to peeling a banana to turning a key in a lock to eating with a knife and a fork, designers said.

One British man and 13 amputees in the United States have been fitted with the device during trials.

The i-LIMB will be officially unveiled this month at the 12th congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics in Vancouver.

Touch Bionics, which developed the hand, also plans to develop shoulders, arms and individual fingers, The Telegraph said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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