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Bionic fingers restore man's dexterity

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posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 02:43 PM
This is just amazing.

Until a short time ago, being able to tie his shoelaces by himself would have been impossible for Frank Hrabanek, who lost all four fingers on his dominant left hand in an industrial accident. But two months ago, he was fitted with a prosthesis featuring what are being called the world's first bionic fingers.

Myoelectric sensors inside the elbow-high prosthesis pick up nerve signals from contracting arm muscles, setting the motorized digits in motion — just like natural fingers.

"I am doing so many things," said Hrabanek, one of just four Canadians and 30 people worldwide to have the dexterity of their hands restored with ProDigits, a product developed by Touch Bionics Inc.

"I can use a fork and knife for eating. It's no problem," the 60-year-old said with a grin. "I can pull my pants on and my socks, because if you have only one hand you're not able to do it."

His wife, Zlata, calls the bionic fingers "a miracle" that have helped return a sense of independence to Hrabanek, who was virtually helpless after his fingers were trapped inside a 500 C die-cast machine in June 2007.

Crushed and burned, the fingers and the knuckles below had to be amputated, leaving him with a mere stump of a hand and one good thumb.

"Frank was like a little kid after the injury," she said of her husband of 40 years, explaining that he had to have everything done for him.

"Now he can do everything himself — eat, cut the meat. He made my dinner two weeks ago.… He can peel the vegetables."

"It's help for both of us. It's not only help for him."

The rest of the article here.

Wow, I watched Terminator salvation last night, and this is eerily similar. Albeit very much low tech in comparison.

I think the age of bionic replacements is upon us and nanotech implants will soon follow.

Any thoughts?


posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 02:51 PM
That's interesting.
Friend of mine recently lost most of his fingers on his left hand, and while he can't afford such a replacement at this time, may be something he'll look at in the future.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 02:55 PM
It seems like i say this every day on this forum...but..

Isnt the time we live in frickin awesome?
Technology advances so quickly, things you thought impossible when you were a kid are no possible.

Its a long way from The Terminator, but its a step.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 03:03 PM
That's an amazing story.. it's a wonder what they're able to do with replacing parts of people after having injuries like his. My question is how long after this kind of thing becomes normal when you lose a limb or fingers and people start to opt for elective surgery to replace with things like ...

I guess if you want to spin a pen fast like that hacker bad guy from Goldeneye but hey.. 6 million dollars man, anyone?

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 03:09 PM
I can't help but picture the scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker looses his hand to Darth Vader.

I'm hoping light sabers are next on the list for scientific research.

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