Friday Gadget: ProDigits – The Partial Hand Solution

1260210057ProDigits Finger_600 It has been estimated that the world's current "partial hand amputee" population is about 1.2 million worldwide.

A new device, called ProDigits and developed by Touch Bionics, is perhaps the "world's first bionic fingers" controlled by brain signals from the user. 

Until now, the options available to people who have lost fingers or been born without them have been fairly limited.  Prosthetics are often cosmetic in nature and have minimal mobility.

Those fitted with the device can "bend, touch, pick up and point", all very simple actions which are made impossible without fingers and thumbs. Also, because of a special sensor which the device is fitted with, which let the fingers detect when they have closed around something, people can also write and grip objects.

Check out this video (found on YouTube) 

The ProDigits device work in two ways: 

  • Myoelectric sensors can be used to sense electrical signals from the muscle to help the fingers move; or
  • Sensitive touch pads can use pressure from remaining fingers or tissues near bone to activate prosthetic finger movement.

The cost depends on the number of missing fingers, but a prosthetic is estimated to run between $60,000 and $75,000.

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