I meet with Stuart and Phil from TouchBionics today, they were over from Scotland for the 33rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium for the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists in San Francisco.
It was great to meet them and learn more about the i-Limb myoelectric hand they have been developing, I’ve been following the progress since I found them online last year.
Based on my research these guys are state-of-the art. The hand has fully articulated fingers and thumb and although the control is limited to proportional open and close, as per standard myo devices, the fingers move independently and are therefore able to hold onto unevenly shaped objects. You can change the position of the thumb to change the action from gripping to holding a key between thumb and finger.
I got to have a play with one of their prototype hands attached to a maglite. By changing the pressure I exerted on the open/close buttons the hand responded with likewise speed. I could use it to pick up my glass (bowl-shaped), something I sure can’t do with my current hook.
I’m doubly excited about what the future has in store after meeting Stuart and Phil and can’t wait until I can get my “hand” on one later this year. I haven’t seen anyone else with anything as close to this, outside of university research labs.