Matthew James, a 14-year-old boy in Berkshire, England, is getting used to his new bionic arm.
Born without a left hand, James wrote a letter to Ross Brawn, the head of Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One racing team, asking if the company would sponsor him with a new, technologically advanced appendage. The company then got in touch with Scottish company Touch Bionics, creator of the i-Limb Pulse.
Together, the two companies bought James a new hand, waiving the 30,000 pound (about $50,000) price tag for the product and surgical installment.
James already had a robotic hand, which he described in a BBC interview as "a claw." In the i-Limb, each of the five fingers has a separate motor and has a much broader range of motion. Perhaps the most sophisticated prosthetic on the market, the i-Limb can make a pinching action, and can grip and squeeze.
Although he is still getting used to his new hand, James can already hold a cup of tea and open jars.
The boy also got to tour a Mercedes factory and meet members of the F1 racing team while the two companies discussed their plan.
“Matthew’s letter to the team was very touching, and of particular personal significance given my close relationship to Reading School, which both Matthew and I have attended," Brawn said in a release. "Looking closely at the i-Limb Pulse, we realised how much our technologies in Formula One had in common with those used to create this cutting-edge prosthetic limb.
"Meeting Matthew, and hearing firsthand how the new device would improve his quality of life, was a pleasure and I am delighted that our initial contact has now led to such a positive conclusion.”
Eventually, James will be able to write, catch balls, draw and tie his shoe laces with the new hand. The bionic device attaches to James' arm and reads his electrical impulses, which are sent to a computer inside the device. The hand even has Bluetooth technology inside it, and James can read data about his movements from his computer.