Milorad Marinkovic holds an egg with his bionic arm in Vienna, Austria on Feb. 24, 2015.
Ronald Zak—AP
February 25, 2015 1:50 PM EST

Three Austrian men who lost motor control over their hands volunteered for a breakthrough surgical procedure to amputate their lifeless appendages and replace them with bionic hands.

Doctors hailed the operations as the first cases of “bionic reconstruction,” in which the mechanical hand is hardwired directly into the patient’s arm, enabling the patient to open and close the fingers without external controls, the Associated Press reports.

Ronald Zak—AP

Nerves and muscles transplanted from the patient’s legs run signals from the brain directly into the prosthetic arm. “I can do almost everything with it,” one patient, Milorad Marinkovic, 30, told the Associated Press. “I just don’t have any feeling in it.”

Ronald Zak—AP

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