British woman receives world's most lifelike bionic hand

Nicky Ashwell has been able to ride a bike for the first time thanks to the new high tech limb

Siobhan Fenton
Tuesday 16 June 2015 16:30 BST
(Photo: Laura Lean/PA)

A British woman has described her joy at finally being able to experience life through what has been described as the world’s most advanced bionic limb.

Nicky Ashwell, 29, was born without a right hand and had been wearing an immobile, cosmetic prosthetic.

She has now been fitted with a limb designed by prosthetic experts Steeper who say they use a bionic breakthrough that uses Formula One technology to deliver “unrivalled level of precision and natural movements.”

She said: “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.

“The movements now come easily and look natural – I keep finding myself being surprised by the little things, like being able to carry my purse while holding my boyfriend’s hand.

“I’ve also been able to do things never before possible like riding a bike and lifting weights.”

The hand weighs about as much as a bar of chocolate.

Ted Varley, technical director at Steeper, said: “Looking to the future, there’s a trend of technology getting more intricate. Steeper has embraced this and created a smaller hand with advanced technology that is suitable for women and teenagers.

“An accurate skeletal structure was firstly developed, with the complex technology then specifically developed to fit within this in order to maintain anatomical accuracy. In other myoelectric hands the technology is developed first, at the expense of the life-likeness.”

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