Man Fitted with Bionic Hand After Industrial Accident
Nigel Ackland says the bebionic V2 makes him feel human again
By Robotics Trends' News Sources - Filed Nov 08, 2012

Nigel was employed as a precious metals smelter. Around five years ago, he was involved in an accident at work involving an industrial blender. This led to a severe crush injury of his right forearm. He underwent six months of operations and infections before deciding to have an elective trans-radial (below elbow) amputation. Unfortunately, due to the extent of his injuries he has been unable to return to work since.

Following the amputation, Nigel was initially fitted with a passive hand. As this was a purely cosmetic hand, Nigel was unable to use the hand functionally and was reliant on performing tasks with his remaining left hand.

Nigel’s second arm was a body powered hook. A body harness connected to the hook allowed Nigel to use his upper body to open and close the hook. Nigel found this prosthesis uncomfortable and not very functional so stopped wearing it.

He later received an electric arm with a terminal device called a greifer. He found the greifer much more functional but was disappointed with it’s cosmetic appearance as it doesn’t attempt to look like a hand.

Recently, Nigel was fitted with a bebionic v2 hand. He now uses the bebionic v2 hand everyday and likes the movement and realistic appearance although prefers to wear the black non-definition glove so it doesn’t look too real! He takes advantage of the many grip patterns the hand offers and can now do everyday tasks two-handed like driving, typing, shopping and washing his hands.

Nigel commented, “Having a bebionic hand is like being human again, psychologically I wouldn’t be without it. I can hold the phone, shake hands and wash my left hand normally, which I haven’t been able to for five years! I’m back to being a two finger typist and can even do a very interesting hand signal which I call the 15th function, not particularly functional perhaps, but the psychological benefit is immense! Overall, the bebionic hand has had a great impact on my life, not only does it look more like a human hand but it also functions more like a human hand.”

RSL Steeper's beBionic3 packs the same wireless chip, customizable silicone overlays and speed controls of its predecessor, but is now stronger and more durable. It's been redesigned with an aluminum chassis and new thumb and can handle up to 99 pounds of weight, with almost double the grip-strength of its predecessor. The bionic hand traces faint electrical signals across the user's arm skin, amplifying them to the five digits, which can contort into 14 different grips. The mouse configuration, lets the user operate both buttons while holding onto the peripheral. The hand costs between $25,000 and $35,000, depending on both the hardware and software configurations.

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