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http://www.touchbionics.com/i-LIMB/frequently-asked-questions

In William Gibson's Neuromancer the bartender Ratz served drinks at the local gajin watering hole with the aid of his trusty 7 function bionic hand.

Now you too can replace your war torn digits with an i-LIMB a prosthetic that does far more than merely open and close, and allows you to perform tasks that range from typing (one fingered) to picking up delicate objects.

you can select between six different grip patterns that come pre-programmed into the arm
These grips include:
Power Grip (Cylindrical)
Achieved by rotating the thumb fully into palmar adduction. Used for picking up cans, briefcases and shopping bags with a fully enclosing grip.
Precision Grip (Fine Tip)
Achieved by rotating the thumb in direct opposition to the index finger. Used for picking up small objects or to hold objects while performing fine motor tasks.
Key Grip (Lateral)
Achieved by rotating the thumb fully into palmar abduction, parallel to the digits. Used for turning a key in a lock or for holding items such as a plate or a business card.
Spherical Grasp
Achieved by rotating the thumb in direct opposition to the index fingers (palmar adduction) for smaller spherical objects and in various degrees of palmar abduction for larger spherical objects. Used for holding a ball, an apple or other round objects.
Hook Grip
Normally achieved by placing the thumb fully into a palmar abducted position where the thumb rests on the side of the first digit when a flexion signal is provided. For situations when the user desires a more secure hook grip, the user can place the thumb in a more palmar adducted position to create a modified cylindrical grip between the thumb and index finger. Used for holding the handle on a suitcase, briefcase or duffel bag.
Palmar Grasp
Achieved by placing the thumb in a palmar abducted position, allowing the thumb to provide direct opposition to an object such as book binding or a person’s hand.
Additionally, stall detection to the motors of the i-LIMB Hand and preprogrammed software adjustments can allow patients to perform simple tasks and improve functionality. Examples include providing resistance to an individual digit such as the index finger to allow for and index point. Additionally preprogramming of software allowing for thumb parking, instructing the thumb to close down against the side of the hand to allow a jacket to be put on.
Q: Can you perform the same grips with a ProDigits partial hand solution?
A: Partial hand is more complex as every patient need is different. In many traumatic cases, there will some part of missing fingers remaining. Often the thumb remains and this is very advantageous for when it comes to creating an opposition post for grips. So, many of the desired grips are possible but are dependent upon each patient case.


two very important features are the price and ease of servicing.

at around £8,500 it's about what you'd pay for a new cooper mini. like a nice car, it also comes with accessories like a silicone glove and realistic fingernails.

It is also easy to service - it is modular in design allows you to swap out any finger by removing a single screw. you can do simple repairs yourself, instead of sending the whole arm back to the shop for a few weeks. Take that, luke skywalker!


of course, having to cycle through various grips before choosing to close the arm means you aren't going to touch type with more than one finger or play the piano any time soon. that will require a new brain machine interface. well, hopefully the Human Machine Interface project at the NIH will get some more progress soon.

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