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Mercedes Gives Racing Fan Bionic Hand

Teenage F1 fan receives $40K prosthetic
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2011 5:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – Maybe this is just the first step toward a cyborg Formula One driver: The Mercedes F1 team helped outfit a 14-year-old fan born without a left hand a new high-tech prosthetic hand, reports the Telegraph. The British teen wrote to the head of the Mercedes Benz team last June, and it made a deal with a Scottish bionics firm to fit him with a $40,000 i-LIMB Pulse prosthesis.

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In his letter, Matthew James joked that if Mercedes "sponsored" a replacement for the claw-like attachment he had been using due to a birth defect, he would cover it with ads for the car company. The new hand reads sensors from the teen's brain, and has an individual motor for each finger. "It is just like the real thing," says Matthew. He tells the BBC there's one negative to it, however. "I'm having to do more chores." (Read more Formula One stories.)

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