An upgrade to the high-tech BeBionic3 prosthetic hand is enabling one man to perform incredibly sophisticated operations such as dealing cards, tying his own shoelaces and touch typing on a computer keyboard. Nigel Ackland’s Terminator-like mechanical limb, designed by RSL Steeper, has been reinforced with stainless steel and titanium, and it’s now equipped with insulating pads that avoid picking up heat or static electricity.
Nigel Ackland was fitted with the robotic hand in November last year, after his right hand got caught in the industrial blending machine and was amputated six years ago. Designed by prosthetic manufacturer RSL Steeper, the artificial limb allowed 14 hand positions and grips and enabled Nigel to tackle real-life, everyday situations with more confidence. The hand, which operates by responding to the amputee’s muscle twitches, was recently upgraded to become stronger, more sensitive and allow Nigel to perform more sophisticated tasks.
The upgrade followed a dog walking accident, when Nigel’s dog broke free from his leash and ripped the lead out of the artificial hand. Designers reinforced the limb with titanium and stainless steel, making it strong enough to endure that amount of force in the future. By activating and deactivating the wrist, Nigel can make the hand rotate 360 degrees and assume multiple positions. Additional improvements in finger control enable him to grab small objects and do simple things that most of us take for granted, like playing a game of cards.