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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Look For In a Prosthetic Hand? 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the swiss-army-fingers dept.
Arglebarf writes "A family member is recovering from a serious illness and, unfortunately, the medication that saved her life will probably cost her hands and feet. She is an artist by trade, so this is a pretty big deal. Replacement prostheses might restore a degree of independence, as well as enabling her to continue with her creative passions. Do any Slashdotters have experience with replacement hands? What features do you look for? Do any models allow you tweak the software for fine tuning? Beyond the day-to-day uses, she will want something that can hold small objects precisely (e.g. a paintbrush)."
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Ask Slashdot: What Would You Look For In a Prosthetic Hand?

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  • I wish... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by funky49 (182835) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @06:27PM (#43669797) Homepage

    ... I wish there was a tasteful way to make a Star Wars joke.

    Artists always find a way of creating.

  • How about (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @06:27PM (#43669799)

    A prosthetic bird

  • by schwep (173358) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @06:46PM (#43670013)

    Technology is moving very fast. State of the art today won't be in 5 year. I would want a system that I could disconnect the replacement part(s) and connect up new ones without surgery. This also allows for custom limbs for specific tasks. Holding a brush may be a custom limb. I may also want a custom chainsaw arm, too.

    I want flexibility for change & all the specifications for the mating connector to my body to be open source or license/patent free so I can have custom limbs made. I want a copy of the specs for the same reason.

  • Re:Opportunity? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ttucker (2884057) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @06:49PM (#43670039)

    I can't be the only one who's thinking it needs to support a Fleshlight attachment...

    This prosthetic hand is for a woman, who is going to lose her hands. Are you fucking serious that this is the best thing you can think of to say?

  • I have an idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @07:23PM (#43670367)

    Ask the fucking prosthetics guy that will get/make her a new one when the time comes. I mean he is qualified to actually give opinions. How many people on here that would respond to you are going to actually have a prosthetic or even know anything about how they work/perform in the real world? None. Im sure some will say they have one or "Know a friend of a friends former roomates neighbor that one" but bottom line is they don't know dick.

    This question is as stupid as asking for legal advice online in a murder trial. Its the internet, 98% of your answers will come from people who don't know shit but think they do.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @07:33PM (#43670459)

    There is no doubt in my mind that for now, transplant wont be an option. It is experimental and, probably more important, risky. I don't think you can be a candidate until you are stable and able to bear the stress of the transplant. The kinds of illness which she may have are unlikely to be compatible with all the surgery and anti-rejection drugs needed for transplant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @11:16PM (#43671741)

    Sorry for shouting. But save the nerves. I run a regen med research lab, and there is lots of cool stuff coming down the pipe. I know, I know, Real Soon Now, but advancements are on the way. The big limitation is going to be nerves though. No matter how much cool stuff we put together with artificial bone and patient-specific stem-cell derived muscles etc, it's all moot if you can't control it properly, and the nerves, for a variety of reasons, will be the hardest part to regenerate.

    Fortunately, there has been some really interesting work done in terms of rerouting the nerves (both motor and sensory) - basically, if the nerves don't attach to anything, they die. But, if before you amputate, you take the nerves and move the ends over so they now lie against skin and muscle etc that will not be amputated, the cells remain alive (and functional). This has lots of interesting applications in terms of interfacing with prosthetics, but also in 5 or 10 years (or longer, if so - sorry, everything is often slower and more complex than we hope), this means the nerves are still there, waiting to be connected to the regenerated limb. Here is one paper that discusses it in more detail:

    I don't want to give you too much false hope about where the technology is going - I am very excited about the potential, but there are still a number of obstacles. So, live for today, but there is hope for tomorrow as well.


  • Re:I have an idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arglebarf (1107929) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @12:11AM (#43671987)
    When purchasing a computer, I could just ask the "fucking computer guy" at the shop. Alternatively, I could look around at all possibilities to see if some components or capabilities would suit me better than the standard options. Yes, that requires me to filter out a ton of nonsense from the responses, but I have the patience of a saint (which also helps with the trolls).

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?