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Open Bionics Releases Incredibly Affordable and Customizable “Hero Arm” Prosthetic

The UK-based organization Open Bionics is releasing the Hero Arm, an advanced multi-grip bionic arm that is 3D printed, extremely affordable, and completely customizable for each wearer. The innovative new prosthetic device will be made available in the UK on April 25, 2018. 

Open Bionics is an inspiring UK-based company that uses 3D printing to create prosthetics, drastically reducing the price of these usually expensive devices. The organization has an uplifting motto: “Turning disabilities into superpowers”, and has previously collaborated with Disneyto create themed prosthetics that kids can proudly wear.

The latest innovative device to come from Open Bionics is the Hero Arm, the world’s first medically certified 3D printed bionic hand that is extremely affordable and customizable. To produce a prosthetic that properly fits the wearer, Open Bionics 3D scans their arm using a tablet, enabling the organization to then 3D print the bespoke hand, socket, and frame.

Read more: Open Bionics Samantha Payne Helps Disabled Kids Become Superheroes

The 3D printing and assembly process for the Hero Arm takes around 40 hours before it is delivered as an all-in-one prosthetic device. For the first time ever, this bionic arm is available for upper limb amputees who are as young as eight years old.

Open Bionics claims that although the prosthetic device is lightweight, it’s also incredibly strong and powerful. However, the most impressive aspect of the Hero Arm is that it cost less than half the price of similar devices. The prosthetic will only cost around £5,000 (~$6,980 USD), which is incredibly affordable compared to exorbitantly priced bionic arms.

The Hero Arm will be released on April 25th, initially available to amputees living in the UK with “below elbow upper-limb differences, aged eight and above.”


World’s First Medically Certified 3D Printed Bionic Hand

In addition to being designed and printed for the perfect fit, the Hero Arm is also fully customizable. Open Bionics has made it possible to choose from a range of swappable covers that fit with different styles and seasons. Additionally, the wearer can also personalize the prosthetic with their own custom designs.

Open Bionics explain on their website: “It’s comfortable, adjustable and breathable too, which means it’s easy to take on and off while providing you with the best possible fit… Even though the Hero Arm is powered by space grade motors, advanced software and long-lasting batteries, it is lightweight and super sleek. The Hero Arm feels like part of you. And it’s strong too, able to lift up to 8 kilograms”.

The Hero Arm weighs less than a kilogram and offers feedback with a full suite of tools, such as lights, sounds, and vibrations, all of which provide feedback to the wearer. It also has a posable wrist that is capable of rotating 180 degrees, as well as a posable thumb that allows users to pick up small objects.

There are also unique features like Proportional Control, which enables users to command the speed of fingers making delicate takes, such as picking up objects like eggs. Freeze Mode allows the wearer to hold the Hero Arm in a static position, helpful for holding a glass of water, for instance.
Getting to this stage has required Open Bionics to go through hundreds of different prototypes and extensive clinical trials. However, Open Bionics still believes that its software can still be improved upon, and will be making it open source to encourage developers to contribute to the project.
By offering the customizable and exceptionally affordable Hero Arm to amputees in the UK, Open Bionics is making prosthetic devices more accessible to all, while also helping amputees feel more comfortable and confidant with their condition.

Visit the Open Bionics dedicated webpage to learn more about the Hero Arm.

Source: Open Bionics

Original posted on: all3dp

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