North and South Korea are on the brink of war, hackers seem to rule the internet, and a cartoon character from a dystopian future is the most popular candidate for US President at the moment. But don’t despair. While most things are awful, there are some things in the world that aren’t. Like this adorable kid who just got his own high-tech bionic hand.
Nine-year-old Josh Cathcart was often bullied in school for having just one hand. But he’s about to become the coolest kid in school, thanks to his new i-limb, developed by a company called Touch Bionics. The hand can be programmed via an iPad app.
“I made myself a bagel yesterday. I can open bottles and packets with it. I can stack up blocks, I can build Lego with it and I can pull my trousers up,” he told The Guardian. While he’s not the youngest to ever get a bionic hand, he’s the youngest that this company has fitted the device for. He’ll grow out of it in about a year and need a new one, and his parents have started fundraising to pay for it.
The arm has given Josh a new sense of self-confidence, and his mother says he couldn’t be happier. Josh had previously become withdrawn and frustrated that there were things he couldn’t do with ease, while children at school teased him.
“I think it’s great. Just to see him pull his trousers up this morning, it was just something that he had never done, and he has been shown how to cut with a knife and fork. It just looked so natural for him. He can do things for himself without us helping him,” the boy’s father told The Guardian.
It’s really really easy to feel down about technology here in the early 21st century. The past decade and a half have delivered techno-laced double-edged swords that seem best suited for stabbing us in the back. Like that device in your pocket that can access all the world’s information? Well, the people behind that device are arguably taking much more personal info about you than you’re getting from the world. That rise in automation and robotics? Well, they’re putting plenty of people out of work.
So thanks for reminding us technology still has the capacity to improve peoples’ lives. It’s happening every day. But with all the garbage in the world, sometimes we just need a reminder.
(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)