This is the world's first clinically tested, medically certified and FDA registered 3D-printed bionic arm. It allows users to grab, pinch, high-five, fist bump and show thumbs-up.
This bionic arm is the future, where disabilities are seen as superpowers. The new lightweight design by Open Bionics uses a 3D printer to create the hand in four separate parts, custom-built to fit the patient using scans of their body. With sensors attached to the skin, it detects the user's muscle movement, which can be used to control the hand and open and close their fingers.
The 3D scans ensure a custom design that is perfectly fitted to the wearer, after which the largely automated construction process takes around 40 hours to print each new arm.
Known as the 'Hero Arm', this bionic arm is far more than a conventional synthetic limb. The Hero Arm is innovative, highly capable, affordable and 3D-printed.
The device aims to give wearers the same movement and dexterity of a biological arm, it makes no effort to imitate one in appearance, in the uncanny way that many other prosthetics do. The design of the Hero Arm celebrates its artificial nature and focuses on what it does, enabling wearers to do more, more easily.
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 technology that is used in the Hero Arm is not in itself ground-breaking when broken down into its constituent parts. It needs to be relatively simple, in order to be economically viable. However, it's the way in which 3D printing, scanning and robotics have been brought together to such good effect that makes Open Bionic's products approach so innovative, along with its commitment to diversity.
By making the technology open source, Open Bionics is expanding the potential of its devices, for the benefit of its customers. Already, Georgia Tech has married the technology with ultrasound to enable the fine control necessary for a wearer to play the piano.
Beyond the Hero Arm, Open Bionics has expressed plans to apply its technology to legs (and their composite joints), as well as to exoskeletons to aid those with restricted movement.
In the meantime, learn more about Open Bionics by watching the video below.