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BeBionic hand easy on eggs, tough on Coke cans

The prosthetic hand plays Jenga and the keyboard, and comes with Power Grip skills. But can it wield a light saber as in "The Empire Strikes Back"?

Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

British prosthesis maker RSLSteeper is readying a myoelectric bionic hand that will let users perform detailed movements such as picking up wooden tiles in the game Jenga or grasping objects with a "power grip" feature.

Little information is available, but RSLSteeper says the BeBionic hand will have the world's first "powered wrist with rotation as well as flexion/extension." Lifelike silicone skin covering the hand will be available in 19 shades.

Myoelectric prostheses can be controlled by detecting electrical nerve signals in the skin of the remaining portion of a limb.

The hand's speed, grip force, and grip pattern will be programmable, and the device will be lighter than other prosthetic hands on the market, the company says.

The hand looks like it could be more versatile than Touch Bionics' i-Limb Hand, a revolutionary myoelectric appendage launched in 2007, but not as lifelike as the Swedish-Italian Smart Hand, which is surgically grafted to send sensor feedback to the brain.

The BeBionic Hand will make its official debut in May at Orthopaedie + Reha-Technik 2010 event in Leipzig, Germany.

(Via Singularity Hub)