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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Bionic hand makes you look like a supervillain

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: RSL Steeper)

Assistive technology firm RSL Steeper has launched its most advance bionic hand to date, the BeBionic 3.

Launched globally at the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association 2012 National Assembly in Boston, Massachusetts, the BeBionic 3 is the strongest bionic hand to date. Compared to its predecessor, the BeBionic 2, which has a grip strength of 16.8 pounds (7.6 kilograms), the BeBionic 3 can grip 31.5 pounds (14.3 kilograms) — a massive improvement.

For context, the average male grip strength is 98.7 pounds (44.8kg), and the average female grip strength is 58.35 pounds (26.5kg) (Source PDF).

When you move, your brain sends a faint electronic signal into your body to direct the action. The BeBionic 3 taps into those signals to move, amplifying the signal and translating it into one of eight grips uploaded to the hand, out of the possible 14 choices. The user then has to cycle through the grips to choose the one they want, so it's not as simple as operating a limb — but for those who have lost a limb, the device is a life-changer.

Grips include the mouse grip, the open palm, precision grips, the hook grip for carrying and the tripod grip, which can be used for holding a pen.

As you might expect, it doesn't come cheap — in the US, it will cost anywhere from US$25,000 to US$35,000.

See it in action in the video below.


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