Prosthetic technology is improving every day. But recently, it’s also gotten a lot more stylish. Open Bionics, which works to create and distribute low-cost prosthetics to people worldwide, just teamed up with Disney to create character-themed prosthetics for kids.
And the best part? All of the designs were given to the company royalty-free by Disney, so kids can channel their favorite characters for a more affordable price.
Designs include characters from the Avengers and Star Wars franchises, as well as from Frozen.
Open Bionics hopes to make prosthetic limbs accessible to all, and they also hope to remove the stigma attached to missing limbs. In an interview with The Independent, CEO Joel Gibbard said, “The power of these prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different. All of a sudden, they’re not being asked how they lost their hand. They’re being asked where they got their cool robot hand, how does it feel, and how does it work?”
The company, a startup, was granted $120,000 by Disney, and their specialists worked in Disney’s labs while creating the pieces.
They might look like toys, but they’re actually very advanced prosthetics.
Their movements are controlled by the electrical signals given off by the wearer’s muscles. What’s more, the lights and motors that make the hands seem so appealing to kids are actually feedback systems that let doctors and specialists know about how the kids and their prosthesis are interacting.
According to Gibbard, the kids who tested them out really liked them, and they picked up on how to use them very quickly.
The Star Wars models can also be personalized, so they light up with the user’s favorite colors.
Gibbard also hopes that the stylish nature of these prosthetics will remove the stigma that comes with having a missing limb, especially for children.
(via My Modern Met, The Independent)
In the future, Open Bionics hopes to be able to produce prosthetics that cost less than $500, which would make them more accessible to a greater number of patients in need. You can see their other work on their website, and on Facebook.