A 29-year-old congenital amputee from London has become the first user in the U.K. to be fitted with the bebionic small hand from prosthetics company Steeper.
According to a press release, the bebionic small hand, targeted to women and teenage prosthesis users, is built around an accurate skeletal structure with 337 mechanical parts and offers 14 different precision grip patterns and hand positions to mimic the functions of a real hand.
Nicky Ashwell, 29, is the first U.K. amputee to be fitted for the bebionic small hand.
“Looking to the future, there is a trend of technology getting more intricate,” Ted Varley, MSc, technical director at Steeper, said in the release. “Steeper has embraced this and created a smaller hand and advanced technology that is suitable for women and teenagers.”
Nicky Ashwell, who was born without a right hand, received the prosthesis at a fitting by London Prosthetics Centre. Previously, Ashwell had used a cosmetic hand without movement and carried out tasks with one hand.
“When I first tried the bebionic small hand, it was an exciting and strange feeling; it immediately opened up so many more possibilities for me,” Ashwell said in the release. “I realized that I had been making life challenging for myself when I did not need to. The movements now come easily and look natural. I have also been able to do things never before possible, like riding a bike and lifting weights.”
The bebionic small hand uses sensors triggered by the user’s muscle movements that connect to powerful microprocessors and individual motors in each finger. It weighs less than 1 pound and measures 6.4 inches — the size of an average woman’s hand — from base to middle fingertip.