Robot hand development
Wired magazine has been running a special on robotic hand developments. The video above is one component of the Wired story, but I think it is the most revealing. Such developments strike me as not only advantageous for paraplegics, but for robotics generally. The feedback, grip, and range of motion of such robotic hand-arm combinations could just as well work for space exploration vehicles. The interface to such vehicles could present a virtual presentation of an environment, for instance on another planet, which would be comfortable to the intuitions of humans interacting with such technology. Generally, material handling and demolition robots are much more claw-like, and very bulky. On the other hand, since it is robot hand, the materials science could be scaled up to very huge proportions, as have other claw-like robots. On the other side of bigger, comes more graceful, but I think there are probably aesthetic limits to what are acceptable robot hand tasks.
"Robot hands get a grip on the future" Wired (Accessed Sept. 21, 2008)