Scientists have developed an ultra-light limb that they claim can mimic the movement in a real hand better than any currently available. Great photo.

At present, prosthetic hands either do not move at all or have a simple single-motor grip.

But the University of Southampton team has designed a prototype that uses six sets of motors and gears so each of the five fingers can move independently.

Details of their design were presented at an Institute of Physics conference.

Every year 200 people in the UK lose their hands. Common causes include motorbike accidents and industrial incidents.

It is hard for scientists to replicate hand movement, as the real thing has 27 bones and can make a huge number of complex movements and actions.

The Southampton team believe their prototype is able to make movements and grip objects in the same way that a real hand does.

The new hand – called the Southampton Remedi-Hand – can be connected to muscles in the arm via a small processing unit and is controlled by small contractions of the muscles which move the wrist.

More here.