While it is exciting to read and talk about the latest supercar or smartphone gadget, it is also nice to know some news regarding our health, and how tech can help us live better. Thus in that light it is with great happiness for us to know that the british health company Open Bionics, recently announced today that its 3D-printed Hero Arm prosthetic will be available for purchase in the UK next month.
Touchingly, The company's founders started Open Bionics because they were interested in developing prosthetic limbs that were less expensive than traditional options, which typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. Using advanced technology like 3D-scanning and 3D-printing, they aim to produce more affordable options that can be constructed much more quickly than other prosthetic devices. In the past, they've developed Star Wars-, Iron Man- and Frozen-themed prosthetic hands for children as well as a Deus Ex-inspired arm which shows that they have a fun side as well.
So The Hero Arm is the company's latest design. Open Bionics says its three-times more affordable than similar multi-grip bionic arms and each one is custom built for the person using it. It's available for children as young as eight years old and Open Bionics is touting it as the "world's first medically approved 3D-printed bionic arm.
Amazingly, The device weighs less than a kilogram and can lift up to eight kilograms. It also has a long-lasting battery, custom covers that can be switched out and offers multiple types of grips that can be reconfigured depending on the user's preferences. The Hero Arm has a freeze mode so users can hold a position without added effort, feedback in the form of lights, sounds and vibrations and a posable wrist that can rotate 180 degrees, making it easier to grab things at odd angles.
It is refreshing to see tech enthusiasts who do not only use tech as a tool to entertain, but also as something to save and improve lives.