*Warped voice through Tannoy system* Chut chut. Pay Luke Skywalker bolla Tatooine frumf ti pund, konchee er pinkosponto kapa. Luke Skywalker bolla Tatooine frumf ti pund, pay." Translated from Huttese into Galactic Basic, that reads: "Greetings. Could Luke Skywalker make his way to the Tatooine Lost & Found, where his prosthetic hand has been handed in. Luke Skywalker to Tatooine's Lost & Found, please."
Well, a girl can dream. But this prosthetic hand, inspired, I kid you not by spiders' legs, has scored highly in tests. Currently a prototype, Fluidhand is battery-powered, with five electric motors—one in each finger. Soren Wolf, an 18-year-old patient at Heidelberg University Hospital was the first person to try out the device, alongside the iLIMB, which, unlike the Fluidhand, is controlled using myoelectric signals from the stump of the arm.
The Fluidhand works on different principles, and its digits are based on the biological principle of the spider leg—elastic chambers in the joints are pumped up by miniature hydraulics, thus allowing flexibility. This allows each individual digit to be moved independently. Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the device is that it gives feedback to the stump, which allows the wearer to sense just how strong the grip is.
Of the two hands, Soren said that the Fluidhand just had the edge over the iLIMB. It is currently only a prototype, but the inventors are looking for investment. Maybe George Lucas would be interested. [UniversitatsKlinikum via MedGadget]