The Feel-Good RFID Video of the Year

Watch how the technology is being used to change a bionic hand's mode of operation.
Published: November 13, 2012

Dave Mapleston, the CEO of British electronics firm ePix Ltd., sent me a link to a YouTube video that not only made my day, but my entire week. The video, posted by Infinite Biomedical Technologies, shows how its BeBionic prosthetic hand employs radio frequency identification to change modes of operation.

The robotic hand can operate in normal mode, in which all five fingers can grip an object or make a fist. There is also a pinch mode, in which the thumb and forefinger come together to pick up a small object, and what sounds like a “three-jaw mode.” In this last mode, the thumb and first two fingers come together as though they are gripping the neck of a jar.

Sean, the tester, has one RFID tag—it looks like a high-frequency (HF) tag—in his left breast pocket, one in his right pocket and another in a pants pocket. When he brings his hand over a particular pocket, the reader in the bionic hand detects that tag’s unique serial number, triggering a new mode of operation.

“It is so nice to not have to go through some crazy dance to make it change modes,” Sean says, explaining that his previous prosthetic was unreliable and often required multiple tries to make it do what he wanted. “It’s so effortless and so certain that it is going to happen. I love it.”

The joy on Sean’s face is evident. Enjoy the video and share it with your friends

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.