Mechanical fingers mimic nature without electronics

A Naples, Florida-based company has designed mechanical fingers and thumbs that mimic natural body parts without any electronics.

The criss-crossing surgical steel levers used in the so-called ’X-Fingers’ are actuated by a remaining finger or thumb and covered in thermoplastic for a lifelike look and feel.

With the artificial fingers, patients can pick up coins, button shirts, tie shoes, type letters, carry buckets — even play the piano.

Dan Didrick, founder of X-Finger manufacturer Didrick Medical, said that the mechanical fingers are a huge leap from the traditional flaccid latex appendages whose only function is masking the problem.

Now entering volume production, X-Fingers come in 500 different configurations covering five different finger thicknesses and 16 different lengths.

The product has already been showcased in the Isimbardi Palace in Milan, Italy, as well as several museums, including the US Patent and Trademark Museum, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Museum of Science in Boston, the Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.