The first bionic hand available on the market has been recognized as one of the top inventions of 2008 by Time magazine. The i-limb hand, created by Livingston's company, Touch Bionics, appears in the magazine's 50 Best Innovations, at 14th, beating the Mars Rover, designed to explore the red planet.
It took 20 years to develop this hand, which has five independently functioning fingers. This makes it much more versatile than previous hands, which used to be kind of hooked, with a few simple opening and closing movements. Watch video:
The i-limb hand offers a much wider range of possibilities, being able to hold from thin objects such as a credit card to larger ones, such as a bowl or a jug.
It is made of heavy-duty plastics, and the fingers can be easily unscrewed from the hand, making it easy to maintain.
Other prosthetic hands, on the other hand, need to be completely removed when damaged, and their owners are often left without a hand for weeks while the repair lasts.
Since its launch, more than 400 patients already have an i-limb hand.
Touch Bionics President Stuart Mead has hailed this recognition as a "tremendous achievement." "We are delighted to have been named by Time magazine as one of the inventions of the year, a true honor for any innovative company," he added.
Source: BBC Technology