Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

UK woman fitted with world's 'most lifelike' bionic hand

bionic1.jpg

At the age of 29, Nicky Ashwell has only just started riding a bike. 

It's not for lack of trying: a congenital amputee, she was born without a right hand. Having grown up learning to carry out tasks with her left hand, the 29-year-old Londoner has finally been able to ditch her non-moveable cosmetic prosthetic to become the first UK user of the world's most lifelike bionic hand.

Measuring 165mm from base to middle fingertip, the bebionic small of prosthetic experts Steeper contains 337 mechanical parts, a motor per finger and a raft of microprocessors, providing lifelike movements and 14 complex grip positions. 

Bionic

Ashwell, a product manager at an online fashion forecasting and trend service, has had to learn to adjust to using the bebionic small, which registers muscle movements in the user's arm in order to change between grip positions.

"I realised that I had been making life challenging for myself when I didn’t need to," she said. "The movements now come easily and look natural; I keep finding myself being surprised by the little things, like being able to carry my purse while holding my boyfriend’s hand. I’ve also been able to do things never before possible like riding a bike and lifting weights."

Weighing around 390g, the advanced prosthetic is able to handle 45kg, with a series of magnets helping balance and control the finer movements of the fingers.

Ted Varley, technical director at Steeper, believes that prosthetic technology is only set to get more intricate.

"An accurate skeletal structure was firstly developed, with the complex technology then specifically developed to fit within this in order to maintain anatomical accuracy," he said, in regards to the bebionic small, which was built specifically for women, children and men with smaller frames. "In other myoelectric hands the technology is developed first, at the expense of the lifelikeness."

Technology is awesome.

Related

juggle1.jpg

The Most Hypnotic Video Of A Robot Juggling That You’ll See All Day’

case1.jpg

This wooden case claims to improve the audio on your iPhone

lock.jpg

The best iOS 9 features Apple didn't mention

doom.jpg

Everything You Need To Be Excited About From E3 2015

cam2.jpg

EE's action camera can stream straight to the web

Easy1.jpg

The Airline Changing The Future Of Flight Is Not Who You'd Expect

Comments

More

The only Vines worth preserving

The most important cultural artefacts of our time

by Tristan Cross
17 Jan 2017

Hurrah: The Nintendo Switch now has a price and release date

Here's everything you need to know about the new console

by Tom Fordy
13 Jan 2017

The best underwater photographs of 2016 are staggeringly beautiful

Aquatic snaps that made a splash

by Dave Fawbert
12 Jan 2017

Using Google Maps actually does ruin your sense of direction

"Make a U-turn where possible"

by Dave Fawbert
11 Jan 2017

Netflix releases 8-bit game featuring Narcos and Stranger Things

Goodbye, productivity.

by Emily Badiozzaman
10 Jan 2017

The original Game Boy is coming back

Time to dust off your Pokemon Red & Blue cartridges

by Jamie Carson
10 Jan 2017

Watch Steve Jobs launch first iPhone 10 years ago

Today marks 10 years since Steve Jobs presented the world with this iconic product, but it could have been so different

09 Jan 2017

The best gadgets to launch at the biggest tech conference in the world

Christmas 2017 can't come early enough

by Joe Ellison
05 Jan 2017

This is why hitting the snooze button is bad for your health

If you snooze, you really do lose

03 Jan 2017

16 best fitness gadgets to help you get into shape for 2017

Gadgets to get your sweat on with

by David Cornish
03 Jan 2017