This company makes superhero and Disney themed prosthetic hands for children
There cannot be a more traumatic experience for a child than losing his/her limbs. Not only it makes them disabled, but also alienates them from their own age group.
But one company has decided to turn this vulnerability into confidence by tying up with Disney, Marvel and Lucas film production houses to build affordable prosthetics with images of superheroes, Princess Elsa from Frozen and prosthetics featuring the sound and light of the light sabres.
Read more about the brilliant initiative.
1 The company behind the initiative
The company behind this initiative is UK based Open Bionics. The company works in building prosthetics for children who have lost their limbs in accident or were born without them.
The company has partnered with Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm production houses to license images from them to use on the bionic prosthetic arms they build for kids. It features Ironman, Thor, characters from Frozen and Star wars on the limbs.
Mr Gibbard, owner of Open Bionics says, “Kids absolutely love them, they pick it up straight away. To them, the most exciting thing is the lights and the look of it, but once they start using it they start challenging themselves to pick up small objects and start stacking things.”
2 What are prosthetics?
Prosthetics, also known as prostheses, are artificial body parts which replace body parts that were lost due to accident or disease or probably a birth defect. There are prosthetics available for many body parts like legs, arms, eyes and the working of these prosthetics vary from each other.
In some, the functioning can be very limited and prosthetics are used only for replacing the body part. But there are some high functioning prosthetics that completely mimic the lost limb thanks to advancements in the technology. There can be biosensors installed in the limb, so that the wearer can easily manipulate the limb.
3 Why superheroes and Disney characters?
All the companies involved in this program Marvel, Disney and Lucas film have agreed to share the images so that Open Bionics can use the designs on the prosthetics to be used by the kids.
“Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. They won’t have to do boring physical therapy; they’ll train to become heroes. They’re not just getting medical devices; they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favorite characters.” says Gibbard.
These prosthetics are 3-D-scanned and printed and all the superhero bionics will have a price tag of $500 and will be available for sale in 2016.
There is a sort of stigma attached to losing a limb and if a small child goes through this horrid experience, it alienates that child from his friends since the child is no longer able to perform tasks as his/her friends do.
Wearing these superhero and princess themed prosthetics will give them encouragement to go out and mingle with their peers. All of a sudden, the children are not being asked how did they lose their limb, they are now asked from where did they get their cool ironman themed robot hand. It changes the perception of the people 180 degrees. Now what was seen as their biggest weakness is now perceived as their greatest strength.
4 How does the limb work?
The superhero themed bionics are not just pretty looking, but they are intelligent as well. The prosthetics monitor the child’s muscle growth which in turn allows them to build up power and skill. Like the Iron Man hand, it uses LED’s to display the muscle signals, allowing the doctors and parents to know what is happening under the surface and giving the child the feeling of being Tony Stark himself.
The hand also houses a vibrating motor in the arm with a dual functionality. When a child does the notion to fire a rocket, his/her hand will feel a strong vibration. And this will also record the strength of the child’s grip. We feel this great initiative will help the kids gain a lot of confidence and make them feel like a superhero or a princess, and bring their lost smiles back on their faces.