Man With Bionic Hand – Video
Bertolt Meyer is a professor at the Chemnitz University of Technology, though some might recognize him as Frank, the world’s first real bionic man and star of the popular documentary “The Incredible Bionic Man,” which premiered on the Smithsonian channel in October, 2013. Not only was Bertolt the host of the documentary, the bionic man’s face was modeled after a 3D scan of Bertolt’s face. The film is meant to showcase the current state of medical bionic technology, representing how far we have come in replacing parts of the human body. The bionic man’s hands consist of the i-limb ultra, the 2012 model of the i-limb. Bertolt himself wears the latest bionic hand technology offered by Touch Bionics, the i-limb quantum.
Born with a congenitally missing lower left arm, Bertolt was fitted with his first prosthetic device when he was only three months old. The passive device he was fitted with at the time bears little comparison to the prosthetic device he wears today.
Between the ages of 14 and 19, Bertolt wore a body powered “split hook” device, which was attached via a harness operated by the movement of his remaining arm.
In 1999, Bertolt was fitted with his first myoelectric prosthetic device. For the next 10 years he would be a very active user of his prosthesis and tried three different models over the period.
“The myoelectric devices were much better than my body-powered prosthesis, but they all suffered from the same shortcomings,” explains Bertolt. “The functionality was very basic, as there was only a single type of grip available, and the lack of a palm made holding things like a mobile phone very difficult. I couldn’t hold a piece of paper without denting it, typing on a computer was impossible.”
In late 2007, Bertolt was doing some research on the internet and came across Touch Bionics and its recently launched prosthetic device, the i-limb hand. He was hugely excited by the technology and jumped at the chance to attend a demonstration of the device at his prosthetist’s facility. He was fitted with the device in September 2009.
“It was a good day!” recalls Bertolt. “The i-limb hand met all of my hopes and expectations, even just the fact that it offered a palm to perform the simple act of clapping my hands!” In 2010, Bertolt became one of the first people in the world to be fitted with Touch Bionics’ i-limb pulse product. The pulse offered a host of upgrades including an aluminium chassis for improved durability, increased grip strength, more anatomically correct design, and Bluetooth-enabled software to activate a host of automated grip features and gestures.
Bertolt became a trail blazer once again in April 2013, when he upgraded to the i-limb revolution. The i-limb revolution offers all of the benefits of past products and more, with features such as a powered rotating thumb, 24 automated grip patterns and gestures, and a mobile application to easily access and program the device’s features on-the-go.
In the early summer 2015, Bertolt was fitted with the latest generation of the i-limb technology called the i-limb quantum which is the first upper limb prosthesis that can change grips with a simple gesture. The latest generation is also 30% faster, 30% stronger, and offer 50% more battery life. He was pleased to attend the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics in Lyon, France as an ambassador where Touch Bionics first announced the product introduction.