"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him…better…faster…stronger…"

Edward Willett @ 07-01-2008

Touch Bionics' i-LIMB bionic hand Scottish scientists report that they have produced an artificial arm that is “more powerful than the real thing.” (Via MedGadget.)

According to The Scotsman newspaper:

The researchers say their new arm is capable of repeatedly lifting a weight of 10kg up above head height and could do so all day, compared with the average human being who would tire within minutes. The wrists could rotate 360° and anyone using it could perform hundreds of push-ups.

This raises an ethical question: a patient with such an arm could possibly hurt themselves or someone else. As a result, the arm’s power might actually have to be scaled down.

(Kudos to David Gow, the lead developer, for pointing out in the article something Steve Austin [The Six-Million-Dollar Man of television fame] really should have had to worry about, but never did: “You have to attach it to the patient’s body and that could cause damage if the weight is too heavy. It could snap their ribs.”)

The arm was developed by Touch Bionics, and is designed to complement the the world’s first bionic hand, pictured above and announced last year. Touch Bionics calls its technology i-LIMB.

(Image: Touch Bionics.)

[tags]bionics, technology, medicine[/tags]

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2 Responses to “"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him…better…faster…stronger…"”

  1. Jeremy Eades says:

    Awesome. I want one of these more than I want my power armor. Of course, having to lose the limb in the first place wouldn’t be so fun…

  2. Paul Raven says:

    You don’t need to lose a limb – why not just acquire an extra one? If we’re going to hack and mod the bod, we might as well ditch the rulebook straight away, right? 🙂