Mercedes sponsors £35K hi-tech artificial limb for disabled F1 fan

Mercedes sponsors £35K hi-tech artificial limb for disabled F1 fanA teenage Formula One fan Matthew James, who was born without his left hand, has been fitted with a top-of-the range artificial limb; thanks to F1 team Mercedes GP Petronas boss Ross Brawn who allowed the company to sponsor the hand.

Fourteen-year-old Matthew James wrote a moving letter to Mr. Brawn, asking for £35,000 to pay for a hi-tech artificial limb.

Touched by James’ letter, the company partnered with Touch Bionics, the firm that creates and fit hi-tech artificial limbs. The two companies together designed the artificial limb, i-LIMB Pulse- the most advanced prosthetic limb in the world.

Made from high-grade plastic, the limb has a black silicone socket that has been literally plugged into the boy’s arm. There are two electrodes that detect electrical impulses from the muscles in the boy’s lower arm, and pass those pulses to a mini-computer in the palm that translates the messages into movements.

After being fitted with the new artificial limb last Friday, James said, “My old artificial hand was not great, it had a pretty basic open close mechanism similar to a clamp.”

The artificial limb, which has the Mercedes logo on it, allows James to perform acts like gripping a pen to write or draw pictures, catch a ball and tie shoe laces.