A Bionic Hand for Every Occasion

The latest 14-grip prosthesis

Nigel Ackland had part of his arm "chopped off" after a smelting accident six years ago. For the last few weeks he's been using the just-launched bebionic3 carbon fiber hand, which he demonstrates here. 

It is somewhat disconcerting when he manually dislocates his wrist at the 30 second mark. And he says, of one grip, "This is one that scares children and upsets my wife." But otherwise it's entirely graceful and, as a testament to where we stand in the world of prostheses, heartening.

In a separate interview, Ackland made the point that his prior prostheses had "looked like something that had been made for a disabled person." Whereas, this looks cool. Stepping back from trying to make a prosthesis look exactly like a human hand (which, it won't) and owning the tech as part of the aesthetic nicely tips the scale from off-putting to badass.

Here is Ackland doing some other neat things with the previous model, the bebionic v2:

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James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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