I had an epiphany the other day, I was all excited because I had contacted a company called Touch Bionics (based out of Scotland) about their i-Limb hand (see picture). I’ve been following them since I came across their website last year, just salivating to get a look at the myoelectric hand they’ve been developing.
Anyhow, thought I’d drop them an email to introduce myself and low-and-behold they kindly replied asking to learn a little more about my situation.
And then it occurred to me…I currently use a body powered hook day-to-day, most often than not I don’t even use my harness, so it’s just a passive device I use for driving and pushing things around. It’s functional, sure better than nothing and I’ve seen others who have become pretty adept with one…but it ain’t no hand.
And there came the realization, why should I accept this, why should any upper limb amputee accept this as the status quo. Even myoelectric hands that work off muscle impulses are typically no more than an electrically controlled hook (open/close), maybe with added wrist rotation.
I want more, much more, I’m raising my standards. I can sit here and wait for advances to occur, wait for it to filter into mainstream, hope one day I get a replacement hand, or, I can go out there and be part of the process. I’ve decided my mission in life (after Kaboodle of course) is to pursue the most advanced prosthetics there are, to search out the best people and work with them, help push development to the next step. I want to be an evangelist, to let others know what is feasible…but, most of all I want a new hand, no compromises, no excuses! I’ll make do with what I’ve got for now, I’m not complaining, but I’m not willing to accept this is as good as it gets.
I’m looking forward to further discussions with Touch Bionics, they seem the closest to bringing the next generation of artificial hand to market so far. I’ll keep you posted.