Competing with Touchbionics' iLimb and Otto Bock's Michelangelo hand, this now is RSL Steeper's BeBionic. These "bionic" wonderworks all bank on the Mesmerized Bunny Effect while technologically missing just about all current points there are about to be missed.
Do we wonder: are these all, or at least some of these, built by the same Chinese OEM original equipment manufacturer for 180$ a piece before they are sold for 50'000$ to insurances or individuals? Yes, we wonder :) I should add that I have nothing against 'made in China' - I was there and got the chance to see this and that and from that it becomes apparent that a lot of very good stuff is built there. I only oppose the drastic price margin.
[UPDATE 1] Now, this product appears to be manufactured by RSL Steeper in the UK as one user that wants to support the company tells us, and its price allegedly may be a lot lower. That, of course, changes things as affordable products are a tee-totally other league in terms of trying them out, using them, wrecking them, repairing them and getting them tweaked.
[UPDATE 2] To me, this hand moves and looks so much like the iLimb that I wonder whether Touchbionics didn't just diversify to have this model produced and sold in a lower price range and built from cheaper materials, maybe. It's pure speculation, of course, but study the phalanges, their size proportions and their motion patterns as closely as you can. Just from looking at this, I feel there is more than a slight chance of technical overlap. Also, from a sales point of view - not only did Touchbionics almost fail to get a bank loan in January, but also it seems they hit bottom in terms of selling iLimb units. Plus, market tells us that brand new developments in this domain are so cost prohibitive that right from the outside this should be a copy rather than a new development. Friends of the company would like to suggest otherwise, but we're here to freely speculate. At any rate, evaluate this one well.
Now, here's some demos.
First, the laboratory medical prosthetic replacement feel:
This one has more of a 'cool' feel to it, but essentially it's the same thing:
Do we wonder whether they found out that it is complex grip patterns, multi electrode readings and intelligent software, programmable features, robust rather than flimsy function and comfortable socket design that would be news in 2010 [1,2,3]? Yes, we also wonder that.