Via CNN word gets around of a new body powered prosthetic hand:
In today's Big I we looked at Mark Stark's prosthetic hand - a device he made in his basement to help a friend. It was recently awarded a spot in Popular Science magazine's 2011 Invention Awards.
As it turns out this device got a 2011 PopSci Inventions Award:
Although its minimalist plastic assembly is nearly as light and inexpensive as a common steel hook, it looks and moves like a high-end electronic hand.
This statement is interesting as prosthetic hand development has undertaken interesting innovations in the last 100 to 200 years, not all of which were systematically documented. Nevertheless, there is a distinct development that the above cited remark requires to be examined in closer detail: how a prosthetic hand looks, and how a prosthetic hand grips. Because after Ballif's first strap operated hand (1812), the clenched fist appearance was recognized as appearing as threatening gesture and with subsequent developments such as by Van Peetersen (1844), extended fingers were introduced not only to avoid this appearance but also to offer a pincer grip to the user [link]. So in fact, practically all subsequent prosthetic hands were built to contain a non-threatening appearance. Except the Natural Dexterous Hand.