A former Royal Marine has lifted an object with his hand for the first time in seven years using a new hand-like device known as the ‘handroid’.

The ‘handroid’ technology, developed by Plymouth-based firm, Advanced Control Research (ACR), works by picking up electrical signals generated when a muscle contracts in a person’s neck. These signals are detected by sensors which are then used to control the ‘handroid’, allowing the user to pick up objects.

Dominic Lovett, a former Royal Marine, suffered a serious spinal cord injury when he jumped into a snow drift which was only 1m deep. He has been unable to move his limbs since the accident in 2008, but this technological breakthrough offers hope that he will be able to carry out some tasks without relying on someone else.

Lisa Gunner, a serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Bristol office who leads the Thompsons Solicitors' serious injury teams in the south west of England, said: “This latest development is a very exciting one, especially for people who have suffered serious injuries which affect their mobility.

“The ‘handroid’ device could help people like Dominic regain some of their independence by giving them the ability to carry out movements, such as picking up or holding objects with their hands, something the majority of us take for granted.

“It is good to see the number of disability aids available increasing as they offer hope to people with paralysis. We work closely with organisations like the Spinal Injuries Association to monitor the latest developments so as to ensure that our clients affected by spinal injuries, have their long-term rehabilitation needs met in the best way possible.

“We look forward to seeing how this particular product may develop in the future and hope to see many more technological advancements to help those who have suffered a serious injury on their journey to regaining independence.”