TouchBionics have now released their i-Limb hand commercially in the US. I have written about it a couple of times and it’s an amazing device…check out their site for some action videos of people using it.
There are also some videos on YouTube, check this out out…watch closely and you’ll see the world’s first bionic ‘flip off’:
Of course, now I want one!
Since the hand is myo-electrically controlled I need to get fitted for a myoelectric socket that has the sensors to pick up the muscle activity (electrical signals) in my arm. The first step was to get tested to see if I am a candidate for this type of arm.
So I went to see Rich again at Diablo Prosthetics. He used a myoelectric testing unit to see if I have sufficient muscle activity. There are two electrodes that are put in contact with the skin over different muscles. I then have to contract each muscle independently and the device measures the strength of the electrical signal.
Fortunately it looks like I have more than sufficient output and with practice I should be able to isolate each muscle so I can contract them independently.
So the next stage is to start the process of getting fitted for a myoelectric socket. I’ve been in touch with the guys at TouchBionics and I’m excited to be working with them to get fitted for an i-Limb hand. Not quite Luke Skywalker but definitely a step in the right direction.