Touch Bionics has unveiled the latest enhancements to its i-limb Ultra Revolution at OTWorld 2014 International Congress. Users can now set and assign different grips for different objects and configure the prosthetic hand via Android apps.
Touch Bionics calls the i-limb Ultra Revolution, "the most advanced and versatile prosthesis available," and says it, "offers more dexterity and moves more like a natural hand than any other powered prosthetic hand."
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The i-limb was launched in 2007 and was the world's first fully articulating and commercially available bionic hand. The Ultra Revolution followed last year and is used, amongst others, by social psychologist Dr. Bertolt Meyer, who last year presented a TV program looking at state-of-the-art artificial limbs, organs and blood.
The Ultra Revolution allows users to program a number of primary grip types into it that can be triggered by different muscle movements. These will generally be the grip types that the user most often uses. The recent upgrades to the Ultra Revolution focus on increasing grip adaptability.
Touch Bionics has introduced "Grip Chips," which are Bluetooth-enabled devices that can be stuck to objects and will trigger a pre-programmed grip configuration when detected by the Ultra Revolution. For example, a Grip Chip might be stuck to a keyboard to initiate a grip pattern best suited to typing. They're useful for triggering specific grip patterns that are used regularly, but perhaps not enough to warrant programming to the Ultra Revolution itself for triggering via muscle movement.
In addition to the introduction of Grip Chips, the biosim and my i-limb mobile apps have been updated to provide users with up to 12 additional custom grips. By programming custom settings, users can now access up to 36 different grip options. Like the Grip Chips, the apps allow users to save infrequently-used grip options for quick access when they are required.
Touch Bionics has also announced that all i-limb prostheses now have compatible Android apps, instead of just iOS apps, and that the silicon skin fingertips of the Ultra Revolution have been modified to be conductive so that wearers can use touch-screen devices. This will be of particular benefit for bilateral wearers.
Source: Touch BionicsView gallery - 4 images