Iraq War Veteran Gets High-Tech Bionic Hand
U.S. Department of Defense Uses Futuristic Robotic Technology for a New Bionic Hand for Sgt. Juan Arredondo an Iraq War Veteran who Lost His Hand on Patrol
Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo can now 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. This brings new meaning and current implementation to once futuristic themes such as Terminator, Robo Cop and Star Wars.
Sgt Juan Arrendondo Get Bionic Hand
The 27-year-old former Army soldier, who lost his left hand in 2005 during a patrol in Iraq when a IED exploded through the left side of his vehicle, is one of the first recipients of the i-LIMB. Arredondo was on patrol in Iraq on Feb. 28, 2005, when an explosive device blasted through the left side of his vehicle. As he jumped from the driver’s seat, he noticed that his left hand was still clutching the steering wheel. At San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center, he was stabilized enough to have his amputated arm closed up and readied for a prosthesis. He went through two artificial arms until finally receiving the i-Limb.
“To have this movement, it’s — it’s amazing! My son tells me I’m half robot, half man,”
Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics.
Touch Bionics Prosthetic Hand
The high-tech limb is made of semi-translucent plastics and contains a tiny computer chip that translates electrical signals made by the arm’s nerves into physical movement. 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 the electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.
The i-Limb, which was in development at Touch Bionics in Edinburgh, Scotland, for five years, is marketed by Bethesda, Md.-based Hanger Prosthetics and Orthopedics and costs $60,000 to $150,000, depending on the length of the amputation. The U.S. Department of Defense is paying for Arredondo’s $65,000 prosthesis.
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