bionic handMAINA NEW bionic hand – using Formula 1 racing technology – is set to open up all sorts of new opportunities for women and teenage amputees across the world.

Nicky Ashwell, 29, was born without a right hand and until recently used a cosmetic prosthesis that was unable to move.

Now, thanks to the new ‘bebionic small hand’ developed by Steeper, Nicky is doing things previously impossible such as riding a bike, gripping weights with both hands, using cutlery, and carrying her purse while holding her boyfriend’s hand.

Nicky, who is a product manager at an online fashion forecasting and trend service, 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.”

Steeper say their new hand marks a turning point in the world of prosthetics as it perfectly mimics the functions of a real hand via 14 different precision grips.

The hand works using sensors triggered by the user’s muscle movements that connect to individual motors in each finger and powerful microprocessors.

The technology comprises a unique system which tracks and senses each finger through its every move – mimicking the functions of a real hand.

Development follows seven years of research and manufacturing, including the use of Formula 1 techniques and military technology along with advanced materials including aerograde aluminium and rare earth magnets.