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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology"-Enter the Real Bionic Man

Iraq Vet Shows Off Bionic Hand
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 24, 2007; 9:58 AM

NEW YORK -- Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo can grasp tennis balls and door knobs with his left hand again, now that he's been outfitted with a bionic hand that has flexible fingers.

The 27-year-old former soldier, who lost his left hand in 2005 during a patrol, is one of the first recipients of the i-LIMB.

Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo, left, one of the first recipients of a bionic hand with independently moving fingers called the i-Limb, shakes a reporters hand during an interview Monday, July 23, 2007 in New York. Arredondo's bionic hand has finger "joints" that flex and bend like natural fingers. Each finger has an individual motor powering it, enhancing dexterity and allowing patients to do activities they were unable to do with previous prosthetics, such as shaking another person's hand and naturally grasping around round objects such as door knobs, fishing rods, and computer mouse. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Mary Altaffer - AP)

"To have this movement, it's _ it's amazing," Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. "It just gets me more excited about now, about the future."

The prosthetic hand is made of semi-translucent plastics. Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand's gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.

The i-LIMB can be covered with flexible material to mimic the look of human skin, called cosmesis.

Arredondo, of San Antonio, likened the limb to the bionics in "Star Wars" and "Terminator." "My son, he goes nuts about it," he said.

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