Touch Bionics has released a pair of superbly sensitive prosthetic fingers devices that are the latest in assistive technology for finger and arm amputees. More information after the jump.
i-LIMB Finger Prosthetic
The i-LIMB, pictured above, is the first prosthesis that uses a microprocessor to move all fingers individually. The i-LIMB is controlled by electrical signals to open and close the hand’s fingers, generated by muscles in the remaining portion of the patient’s limb.
The i-LIMB has a detection device that can signal to the prosthetic fingers when they are properly grasping an object and when to stop operating. The prosthesis has a thumb that can rotate 110 degrees for different grips. The index finger and thumb close together to enable holding small objects. The index finger can remain extended, which comes in handy for using computer keyboards. The thumb can move down against the side of the hand, enabling the user to do tasks such as putting on a jacket.
The prosthetic is made of high-strength plastic and is lightweight. Each powered finger can be removed with loosing a screw. This comes in handy when a clinician needs to remove a malfunctioning finger to be serviced.
ProDigits Finger Prosthetic
ProDigits is the world’s first bionic prosthetic finger. The finger’s articulation in a prosthesis enables the user to bend, touch, pick-up, and point. One to five fingers can be replaced on a hand.
There are two ways to power the prosthetic: either with electric sensors that pick up muscle signals from the residual finger or palm, or a pressure-sensitive switch in the form of a touch pad, which relies on the remnant digit or tissue to provide the pressure to move the finger. Electrodes enable fingers to open and close, even if there are no functioning muscles in the area.
A computer chip in the prosthesis controls the fingers’ movements. Sockets are custom-designed by clinicians to meet the specific needs of the user.