Bionic Feats: Let There Be Music

Manami Ito Playing Violin Feature Image

Our love of music is universal. For some, it’s so powerful that they can’t resist the desire to make a bit of music on their own. Here are four amputees fulfilling that desire.

Johnny Matheny

Johnny lost his left arm to cancer in 2008. Since then, he’s been working fearlessly with researchers to help advance bionic arms for everyone. He always wanted to learn to play “Amazing Grace”, and here is doing just that.

Lin Anlu

Lin Anlu lost her right arm at the age of two. She always dreamed of playing the piano, and here she is using a bionic hand from BrainCo to play with the famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang. This bionic hand is now the BrainRobotics Prosthetic Hand.

We would be remiss if we stopped there because we don’t want to leave the impression that technology is driving these innovations. It isn’t. It’s the human spirit that is inspiring the technology. As proof of this, I offer you two remarkable performances where the technology hasn’t quite caught up to that inspiration, and yet it matters not. Desire and determination transcend all.

Tilly Lockey

Tilly lost both her hands to meningitis at 15 months of age. Here, she shows us why nothing will deter her from reaching her goals. To learn more about this remarkable young lady, visit her website.

Manami Ito

In 2004, at age 20, Manami lost her right arm in a traffic accident. She feared her days as a musician were over, but neither that fear nor her accident could quench her desire to play the violin. Here she is giving an unforgettable performance on America’s Got Talent.

We hope you feel as inspired by these videos as we do.

Related Information

For a complete description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our comprehensive guide.

Follow Us