Robotics Firm Creates 3D-Printed Superhero Prosthetic Arms


A U.K. based robotics company and Disney have joined forces to create 3D-printed prosthetic limbs that will get any child( or even adult) excited.

Open Bionics has created three designs: a glittery arm inspired by Elsa from Frozen, a robotic arm designed to look like Tony Starks Iron Man and a lightsaber-themed Star Wars hand. As if that wasnt cool enough, the lightsaber arm has customized LED lights and makes the iconic lightsaber wooosh sound.

As part of the Disney Accelerator program, Disney allowed the company to employ itsdesigns for free. The programis an initiative between Disney and Techstars to help foster innovation and imagination in the tech world. Techstarsis a dream team of tech geeks whoprovide investment and mentorship for startups. Their mentors include highly experienced members of companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Citymapper and Nike.

Open Bionics was founded in Bristol, England, by Joel Gibbard, whose company has already won numerous awards for innovation in technology and engineering.

Speaking to The Independent, Joel Gibbard said: Weve already had several requests for the lightsabre from people who arent kids.

He added, The power of these prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different. All of a sudden theyre not being asked how they lost their hand, theyre being asked where they got their cool robot hand, how does it feel, and how does it work? It wholly flips the perception 180 degrees. What might have been perceived as their greatest weakness is seen as their greatest strength.

Perhaps what is even more astonishing about these prosthetic limbs is their comparatively low price. Through the use of 3D-printing, the company is able to stimulate the prosthetics at a lower cost than traditional methods. Theyre expected to cost less than $3,000( 1,940) and will be on sale before the end of 2016.

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