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Technology
Tying Shoelaces And Dealing Cards With A Bionic Hand
March 25, 2013
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A while back, we shared a video of Nigel Ackland and his bionic hand.

The device is called the bebionic3 myolectric hand, and it's pretty impressive: in this video, you can see Nigel cracking eggs, opening and pouring a beer, and doing various other things a normal hand can do.

Well, Nigel's back. And in the video at the top, he answers some questions he received after the first video went up on YouTube.

For instance: how do you tie your shoelaces with a bionic hand?

It turns out it's not that hard. Neither is dealing cards, making coffee, gardening, or putting a dog's collar on.

It's an impressive demonstration of some next-level technology. But the bebionic3 isn't the only bionic hand in development.

Discovery recently reported on a prototype bionic hand that is designed to connect directly to the central nervous system, allowing an amputee to experience the sensation of touch through an artificial limb.

bionic-hand-touchy.jpg

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are working on an artificial hand that would be even more advanced.

Their system would give people a hand they could essentially control with their brain, and it would give them a realistic sense of touch.

If any of that makes you think of Luke Skywalker in 'The Empire Strikes Back', well - you're not alone.

"Our dream is to have Luke Skywalker getting back his hand with normal function," Silvestro Micera, one of the researchers on the project (and clearly a Star Wars fan), told TechNewsDaily.

In trials, the team has managed to stimulate people's sense of touch by placing electrodes on the arm near the stump. And they had some success with using signals from a person's brain to control a bionic hand as well.

So far, they haven't actually attached the prosthesis directly to someone's arm, but that will happen soon as part of the Italian Ministry of Health's NEMESIS project.

Still, don't expect this technology to show up any time soon.

"I think the Luke Skywalker hand is probably 20 or 30 years away, maybe even more," Micera said.

No word yet on how far we are from working lightsabre technology.

Via PopSci

Related:

This Advanced Bionic Arm Really, Really Looks Like It's From The Terminator Movies

This 5-Year-Old's Prosthetic "Robohand" Was Built By Amateur Internet Collaborators. And It's Cheap.

U.S. Doctors Stunned At How Easily A Paralyzed Woman Is Able To Control A New Type Of Robotic Arm

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