Scotsman Donald MacKillop, who lost his right hand in an industrial accident nearly 30 years ago, is the first recipient of what is being called the most advanced prosthetic hand in the world.
The i-LIMB prosthetic hand was developed by Touch Bionics, a technology company based in Scotland. The thumb and three digits are powered individually; the little finger is slaved to the third finger. The thumb can rotate, so that the hand can perform the three most common grip configurations of the human hand. The digits can be articulated to hold a mug and the thumb can be held against the phalange of the index finger to hold a key, or against the first and second digits to grasp a pen.
The Touch Bionic prosthesis is therefore anatomically more similar to that of a human than any previous prosthetic hand. It is even covered with high definition silicon rubber to give the appearance of a real hand.
“It’s unbelievable,” says MacKillop. “You can do anything with it. The fact that the fingers can wrap round things, makes life much, much easier.”
In this film clip, the i-LIMB hand is being used to fasten a neck tie: