WORLD’S FIRST BIONIC
Touch Bionics, developer of advanced upper-limb
bionic technologies, has announced the commercial launch
of ProDigits — the world's first powered bionic finger
solution for patients with missing fingers. Now partial-hand
patients have a dexterous powered solution to support
their return to function and independence.
The ProDigits solution extends life-changing
technology to partial-hand patients, who have missing
fingers due to either congenital anomalies or amputation
from a traumatic incident or medical condition.
Not having fingers or a thumb to act in opposition to
one another makes simple tasks such as holding a fork or a
cup difficult and frustrating. The articulating digit underpins much of ProDigits' technical advantage and it is this
articulation that provides the biggest benefit to the patient. With the ability to bend, touch, pick up and point, the ProDigits
reflect the function of a natural hand.
Vince Verges (shown in the photo) was one of four men aboard a Navy EA-6B when it crashed on the Olympic Peninsula
on March 19, 1992. He lost all the fingers on his left hand during the ejection.
The nature of each partial-hand patient case is unique, and therefore each prosthetic build is also unique. Sockets are
custom-designed and fabricated by clinicians to suit each individual's specific needs.
There are two control strategies that can be employed to power ProDigits: either myoelectric sensors that register
muscle signals from the residual finger or palm; or a pressure sensitive switch input in the form of a force sensitive resistor
(FSR) or touch pad which relies on the remnant digit or tissue surrounding the metacarpal bone to provide the necessary
pressure to activate the finger.
When the St. Louis Zoo lost some of their polar bears, they decided
to replace them with robotic ones as part of their holiday exhibit. PETA
is dancing with joy, since they don't believe in keeping wild animals in
captivity except in natural wildlife reserves to save them. Still, if the trend
catches on, zoos may begin to resemble Disneyland's Country Bear
GETTING THE BRUSH OFF
The folks who brought you the Robot Duck have now decided
that robots can be useful, as well. Toysmith's Brush Robot, at a size of
6. 5 x 9. 4 x 2. 4", helps you clean up mini messes while ogling you with
a curious stare not unlike the money you could be saving if you
switched to Geico. The kit comes with wooden and paint brushes,
motor, battery case with wires, eyes, and miscellaneous parts.
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