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The Real Bionic Man: Sun Jifa Builds Himself DIY Prosthetic Hands

handy man
With his prosthetic hands, he can do essentially everything he used to be able to do – hold things, grip items, and mimic basically any movement he wants. CEN

After Sun Jifa lost both of his hands in an accident with a homemade bomb, he used his DIY prowess to build himself a pair of bionic ones.

Eight years ago, Jifa lost both of hands when the bomb that he was using for blast fishing detonated prematurely. He and his family could not afford the bill for prosthetics provided by the hospital, but he refused to be deterred. Because the 51-year-old needed the use of his hands for his family's farm in Guanmashan, within the China's northern province of Jilin, he set about getting them another way.

Instead of wallowing about the loss of his necessary limbs, he made his own.

Eight years after the accident, Jifa has tinkered so much that he has engineered his own bionic hands made out of steel.

With them, he can do essentially everything he used to be able to do – hold things, grip items, and mimic basically any movement he wants.

His hands are operated through the use of pulleys and wires inside the shell. He controls them through his elbows. The model is the latest in an extensive line of prototypes.

The only drawback, he says, is the use of steel. The steel is heavy, and reflect the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter, becoming either very hot or very cold. Because of their weight, they also can be a bit fatiguing.

Regardless, he is proud of his feat, and plans to recreate them for other people who perhaps are in the same situation. He says that he made them for virtually nothing, and feels that they are a great alternative to the hospital's prosthetic limbs, which can come at a high cost.

It seems that Jifa's device could corner a huge market. According to Chinese news outlet Xinhua, China has estimated that 24 million people have limb disabilities who could benefit from prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation services.

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