BeBionic 3: Watch a highly advanced bionic hand in action

If you haven't kept up with advancements in prosthetics, now's a good time to observe how a new generation of devices can undertake even the most precise tasks.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
The level of precision in the BeBionic 3 prosthetic hand makes egg cracking a cinch. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Several months ago, my colleague Tim Hornyak wrote about the BeBionic 3 myoelectric prosthetic hand, a landmark prosthesis that enables a spectacular range of Terminator-like precise gripping and hand maneuverability.

A video making the rounds this week stars 53-year-old Nigel Ackland -- a wearer of the device -- who shows us that we've come extraordinarily far in prosthetic research, perhaps shockingly so if you don't keep up with the subject.

Ackland lost part of his arm in an industrial blender accident six years ago, went through an elective trans-radial amputation, and then used several aesthetic and electric arms that were disappointingly dysfunctional or cosmetically inferior.

In the video below, Ackland describes his situation and how the BeBionic changed his life, and reveals the ease of doing a series of complex finger postures. It's truly stunning to observe the fellow easily cracking an egg or opening a beer and pouring it into a glass.

"The robotic arm is so sensitive it means the father-of-one can touch type on a computer keyboard, peel vegetables, and even dress himself for the first time in six years," notes a video description about Ackland.