In November 2012, we were introduced to Nigel Ackland, who lost part of his arm in a work accident some years ago. His replacement prosthetic was upgraded to a BeBionic3 — a bionic hand, if you will. Now he’s back with some new tricks, in which he demonstrates the use his sensor-based bionic hand to tie shoes, deal cards, make coffee, and other…more alarming things.
Movies love to show robotic or bionic hands — the Terminator‘s hand being the quintessential toy — but real is much more difficult. Ackland shows us what he can accomplish with the BeBionic3 and it’s very impressive, but more importantly, his demonstrations show just how much most of us take for granted.
Ackland is an everyday, likable bloke, and I like these YouTube “home movies” of him doing everyday things way more than the slick promo videos they’ve made to show functionality in the lab. RSLSteeper is smart. They made the right choice working with him and letting him make these videos.
It’s also poignant with these advanced new prosthetics that they’re not something to be hidden. They’re to be shown off. I think that’s awesome. The shame, the stigmas, of cosmetic prosthetics are being replaced with functional, impressive cyberware.
Regarding his hand, Ackland comes off as very appreciative:
Having a bebionic hand is like being human again, psychologically I wouldn’t be without it. I can hold the phone, shake hands and wash my left hand normally, which I haven’t been able to for five years! I’m back to being a two finger typist and can even do a very interesting hand signal which I call the 15th function, not particularly functional perhaps, but the psychological benefit is immense! Overall, the bebionic hand has had a great impact on my life, not only does it look more like a human hand but it also functions more like a human hand.
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