Every day we wake up, wash our hands, brush our teeth, fix something to eat and drive to work. We take all of these simple tasks for granted. But not one teenager in London. Chloe Holmes, now 15 years of age, contracted Chicken Pox as a toddler, a virus most if not all children survive unscathed. Unfortunately, she suffered from septicaemia (blood poisoning) during the virus and as a result she lost most of her fingers, leaving her without a complete hand…that us until now.
For $62,000 her family invested in a bionic hand from Touch Bionics in Scotland. Although it will never provide Chloe with the same range of motion and dexterity as a human hand, it does enable her to pick up items, or small blocks as seen in the below video. The hands usefulness clearly extends beyond this example, but nonetheless it demonstrates to what level of dexterity has been accomplished. Chloe even says that “she didn’t expect it to work as well as it does and that she’d get as much good use out of it.”
The bionic hand isn’t hard wired into Chloe. Instead a set of sensors detect movement in her arm, enabling her to control the futuristic device. We’ve seen other devices, such as the Luke Arm, that offer a similar, but greater range of motion, and can be wired into the muscles or nerves, or controlled using a footpad. However, the Luke Arm isn’t yet available for retail purchase, so the Bionic Hand will have to suffice until now.