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Engineers Created A New Bionic Arm That Can Grow With You

“These are the deus ex panels which you can see look really nice. With this arm, I’m able to open and close as you can see, tense my muscles, there you go, I can change the thumb, and then if I press the middle button it flashes. I love it because everyone’s so distracted by the arm, opening and closing it that AHHHH that’s mad and I love the reactions.” “Open Bionics is a Bristol based startup and our mission is to create and democratize technology that enhances the human body, so in other words, we turn disabilities into super powers.

The Hero Arm is our first bionic product, it’s the first medically certified, 3D printed bionic hand and it’s also the most affordable bionic hand available. We’ve got a multi grip hand with four motors inside controlling individual fingers and moving the thumb. The Hero Arm works by picking up signals from a user’s muscles, it has sensors on the inside of the socket and they sit on top of the muscles and detect a small voltage when the muscles are flexed and the hand will move in response.” “I didn’t think this kind of technology could be possible, especially low-cost. it’s just crazy, especially what I can do with the arm compared to what I could do with it three years ago. But even back then, that was still mad.” “The first thing that happens is a prosthetist will get a model of their arm, which could be physical or digital from a 3D scan. We feed that into our software algorithms to create the bespoke Hero Arm for that individual person and we then export the files for the 3D printers, 3D print them and then we assemble everything together into that person’s Hero Arm.

We’ve been continually testing with people from the very beginning, and getting feedback on things like how long can they wear it…do they experience any discomfort at any time or um how can we design the the socket and the liner to fit to feel really comfortable on their skin.” “Essentially it’s just gotten better because first it was like oh yeah it just needs to open and close, but actually, being able to pick up more extra items, or even picking up something heavy. Holding a tray, opening a door, opening a bottle of water is a major thing. “One of the really cool things about the design of the Hero Arm is that it has adjustability built into the socket, so it can cope with maybe a little bit more growth than usual. And that means that as a child grows, their prosthesis can grow with them.” “I used to have quite a couple of prosthesis that didn’t really do much they just sort of stale really in a sense. It didn’t do anything for me, it made me stick out and I did not like them.

I think I just got them because I thought that was the normal thing to do.” “That’s one of the things that we’re most proud of is the the fact that you can change the look and style of it, we’ve got a customizer so you can design them yourself, change the colors, it’s an expression of individuality and it means that you have choice over the way that your prosthesis looks. We much prefer the kind of prostheses that we’re making which don’t pretend to look like a human limb, and they’re saying you’re unique, you’re different and that’s brilliant, you should celebrate that. Same way like the glasses I’m wearing today, I wouldn’t wear skin colored glasses frames that try and look like eyes, it’s totally ridiculous to even consider that.” “People’s eyes light up and it’s just nice to have questions like how does this arm work as opposed to what happened to you kind of thing.” “We’ve done lots of open source work.

By releasing those design files, giving people those tools, we’ll be able to ultimately integrate some of those really cool new technologies back into our products in the future. We’ve seen some incredible projects from researchers at different universities. There was a researcher that worked with a upper limb different musician, he was able to independently control each finger to play the piano and that was using one of our hands. It shows that these technologies that get talked about a lot in the media and get hyped up, they can actually be translated into something that people can genuinely get and use.” “Seeing these kids Tilly and Cameron wearing these arms really warms my heart because as a kid, I dreamt of something like that and now it’s reality, it’s just overwhelming in a way because I just can’t believe I’m part of it.”

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