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Guitarist Hopes To Play Again With The Help of Bionic Hand 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the we'll-rebuild-him dept.
Dorian Cox, the 27-year-old guitarist of the indie band The Long Blondes, thought his guitar playing days were over after he suffered a stroke. He now has a glimmer of hope thanks to some neurological physiotherapy which includes a cutting-edge piece of medical technology. The SaeboFlex helps patients by supporting their wrists and helping them grasp and release objects. "It's a fantastic service, it's helping tremendously and I think it can work wonders for me and others — it's almost like a gym for my hand. I know things might never be the same again and nobody can give me a definite answer about whether I'll play guitar again but I'm getting back on track with their help," Mr. Cox said. This thing looks really cool, and I'm sure many people will benefit from it, though I can't help but wonder if they make a model that lets you shoot your fist at an enemy.

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Guitarist Hopes To Play Again With The Help of Bionic Hand

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Long Blondes are a great band, their album Someone to Drive You Home [amazon.com] was IMHO one of the best releases of 2007. Highly recommended, especially if you love earlier indie efforts like Pulp. I hope we hear more from them.
    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      How did someone so YOUNG end up having a stoke?!?!?
      • A seemingly healthy High School classmate had one at age 16. Came back a year later with a cane but was otherwise OK, other than the 1000 yard stare a young person gets when they look at mortality too early.
      • Clots can start to form anywhere in the body and then travel. If you sit for too long in one place, it's possible to start to form a clot in your legs, and that clotted blood can then travel to the brain.

  • Hey, if it doesn't work, he can always just hook up wires directly into an electric guitar.
    • He should plug in through a "PS3 - Brain" adapter and use a Guitar Hero axe.

      There are multiple advantages to that aproach if he ever wants to change to battery or bass, or loses his vocal cords, ...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If the "cutting-edge piece of medical technology" isnt enough to play real guitar, he could always play bass.

    Like William Murderface.

  • by 2ms (232331) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @02:27AM (#25972253)

    This is in no way whatsoever a bionic hand. A bionic hand is a powered orthosis that has both intelligence in the form of things like feedback contol and intent recognition + integration with the nervous system in some way. This thing here is a fancy brace, basically. Nothing at all like a "bionic hand"! This is probably the worst misuse of the word "bionic" that I've ever seen.

    • by Gleapsite (713682) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @02:36AM (#25972295) Homepage
      Dictionary.com says:

      bionic
      -adjective
      1.utilizing electronic devices and mechanical parts to assist humans in performing difficult, dangerous, or intricate tasks, as by supplementing or duplicating parts of the body

      And this uses mechanical parts to assist a human in doing things.

      • Also, it is not a hand - any more than a glove is a hand.

        It is an orthosis, more specifically a dynamic hand orthosis.

        (from a bionics researcher, with a degree in prosthetics and orthotics...)

      • by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @02:49AM (#25972369)

        If we fix the grandparent, though, he still has a point.

        "This is probably the worst misuse of the word 'hand' that I've ever seen."

        Really, when you call something a bionic hand, you're implying it is a prosthetic limb. He still has his hand, it just doesn't work so great. The article is intentionally "misleading" but they "justify" it by including "quotes."

        • I would think a prosthesis would be a robotic hand, rather than a bionic. Bionic implies a combination of machine and human parts. Which is what it looks like to me.
      • It doesn't really assist. That glove is only used for reeducation. He's not going to use it to play the guitar. The guy says it himself: "it's almost like a gym for my hand".
      • by 2ms (232331)

        So, do you consider a neck brace a bionic neck? Do you consider a pair of crutches a bionic leg?

        The guy still has his hand! This thing is essentially a glove that has springs to support the fingers so they don't hang limp. Kind of like a neck brace or knee brace etc has stiffness to it to support one's neck etc so it won't go limp without use of muscles or ligaments etc that are injured.

        This thing is a brace for a hand that is limp.

        It is not a functional replacement for a hand. That's what a "bionic han

    • by uberjack (1311219)
      So I can't use it to go around swinging, and take on Commander Killt?
  • I guess it's God's way of saying "stop playing crappy music!" :)

    Seriously, being a guitarist myself I hope it works out for him!

  • Pete Townshend can now smash guitars like nobody's mama.
             

  • by spintriae (958955) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @02:57AM (#25972411)
    I've seen the way some of these types of bionic body parts work by recognizing brain patterns associated with specific movements. I wonder how far off this technology is from allowing musicians to compose music on synthesizers just by thinking about the notes. People like me who are far better at composing than playing would be able to make some pretty incredible music with an ability like that. And people like Dorian Cox would have a much better shot at playing music again, because let's face it, guitar is hard enough when your hands are slightly cold, much less completely numb and paralyzed. There's only so much you can do with a bionic hand.
    • by 2ms (232331)

      It's about 15-20 years away from real-world use and will require brain implants (of sensor + hole through your skull for wires etc to come out) which would most likely have to be removed and reimplanted into different area of brain every couple years (since signals at implant sites degrade over time and it's not looking like there's going to be any way stopping the degradation).

  • by Korbeau (913903) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @03:18AM (#25972507)

    Bionic hand hopes to play again with the help of a guitarist.

  • There is no way this bionic arm, in it's current implementation will allow him to go anywhere near the level that he was able to play at before the stroke. I hate seeing articles like this on the net - completely misleading in the fact that they make you believe that something has progressed farther than it really has.

    Get back at me when he can use this hand to do more than pluck a string here and there.

  • ...Anakin Skywalker? ^_^

  • Meh. I can't wait for the day we see a guitarist turn into a commando and rid the world of neo-nazis
  • by jayloden (806185) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:49AM (#25972869)

    Heh. You don't need a bionic hand for playing guitar.

    Keith Xander [fender.co.uk] has been doing it for years with one arm - and well, too!

    Hell, there's even a guy who plays guitar with no arms [youtube.com]! Granted, it's mostly Tom Petty songs, but still ;)

    • by fishbowl (7759)

      >Hell, there's even a guy who plays guitar with no arms! Granted, it's mostly Tom Petty songs, but still ;)

      That guy is in San Diego all the time. I've seen him a lot. He can play pretty much anything you request.

    • by muellerr1 (868578)
      Another thing--most people use their left hand for chords on a guitar and the right for picking. The impression here seems to be that we'll see a YouTube video of this guy's bionic hand noodling up and down the neck, but chances are it will just be a pick holder.
    • by joNDoty (774185)

      FYI - the man's name is Mark Goffeney [wikipedia.org]. (The YouTube video doesn't even cite this amazing man's name.)

      Goffeney has more dexterity in his toes than I have in my fingers. Congratulations to him for daring to learn guitar with no arms!

  • Because the drummer in Def Lepard has only got one arm.

    The drummer in Def Lepard has only got one arm

    The drummer in Def Lepard has only got one arm

    The drummer in Def Lepard has only got one arm
    • The drummer in Def Lepard has only got one arm

      And boy, is his forehead sore. Cymbals are hard!

  • Did anyone else notice that his name consist of the last names of John Dorian and Perry Cox from Scrubs? Perhaps I'm watching too much TV.
  • A stroke? Please. We all know how it really happened...
    ---
    Needles: Hey! The big "DC". How's it hangin', Cox?
    Dorian Cox: Hey, Needles...
    Needles: Nice set of wheels! Let's see what she can do! Next green light!
    Dorian Cox: No thanks.
    Needles: What's the matter? Chicken ?
    Dorian Cox looks at Needles, and Jennifer clasps Dorian Cox's hand.
    Jennifer: Dorian Cox... don't!
    Dorian Cox defiantly throws his truck into gear, revving the engine.
    Dorian Cox: Grab a hold of something...

  • Are they referring to Guitar Hero or the "real" thing?

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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