Thursday 27 April 2017

Meet the bionic man breaking disability barriers

Bionic man Nigel Ackland with his prosthetic arm. Photo: maxwellphotography.ie
Bionic man Nigel Ackland with his prosthetic arm. Photo: maxwellphotography.ie

Chai Brady

Nigel Ackland, the 'man with the bionic arm', has spoken about being the first person to trial the world's most advanced prosthetic hand.

Mr Ackland (58), who was in Dublin for Engineers Week, was fitted with the prosthetic following a life-changing accident five years ago in his workplace as a precious metals smelter.

His arm was "trapped, crushed and almost severed" in an industrial blender.

In the wake of the accident, he was given the opportunity to try out the new technology - the bebionic3.

Mr Ackland is able to give the hand eight commands using signals from his brain.

Mr Ackland said that he moves his "phantom hand" which causes the bionic arm to move.

He says the technology is "breaking barriers" and making people more comfortable with amputees. "Prosthetics have been around for donkey's years, but this is acceptable, this breaks down those barriers of disability," he said.

He has two million hits on Youtube in a video where he ties his shoes. He also appeared on Ted Talks.

Irish Independent

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