Touch Bionics i-limb prosthesis is controlled by an iPhone app

Touch Bionics have unveiled the i-limb ultra revolution, a high-tech prosthesis that can be controlled through an iPhone app.

Touch Bionics, a Livingston-based robotics firm, has invented a new prosthetic hand that can be controlled via your iPhone.

The multi-articulating prosthesis offers "a range of features beyond the capabilities of any other prosthetic hand", the company boasts, such as powered thumb rotation and integration with a mobile app.

The 'bioism' mobile app, which is compatible with the most up-to-date Apple devices, will allow i-limb wearers to control 24 interchangeable grip patterns. Naturally, the hand is controlled by muscle reflexes, but the company suggest it may take some time before wearers would be able to go it alone.

"The final cost of an i-limb prosthesis varies from country to country and, including patient fitting and training, can cost between $60,000 and $120,000 (£39,000-£78,000)," Touch Bionics' Karen Hakenson told me.

Hakenson explained the fitting process: "To fit an i-limb prosthesis, clinical practitioners undergo extensive training to build the skills needed to help patients gain the maximum possible functional benefit from their device." 

Here's a video from Touch Bionics to demonstrate the i-limb -- it evokes a 'wow, technology is amazing' moment:

Robotic limbs have advanced some way since the earliest iterations, allowing less-able patients to regain some motor functions we all take for granted. My colleague Luke Westaway met some users of amazing-looking myoelectric arms last year:

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Are you excited by advances in bionics? Do you know anyone who would benefit from this technology? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

 

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