Someday, when your estranged father cuts off your hand with a laser knife, the only long-lasting impairments you'll have to deal with will be the psychological ones.
In this clip from his new TV show on Planet Green about nifty inventions working their way from the lab to the real world, Dean "Segway" Kamen shows off the Luke Hand—a prosthetic arm that wearers can use like a real arm; controlling it with joysticks in their shoes, and getting feedback about how hard their grip is from a small, vibrating motor. It's a big deal, because it provides a level of small motor skills that hasn't previously been available in prosthetic limbs. Users can pick up objects as small as a chocolate covered coffee bean, or peel a banana without squishing it.
The next step, Kamen says, is a prosthetic that's controlled entirely by the mind, just like a real limb would be. Cool stuff!
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.