Prosthetic arms weren’t invented yesterday. But the latest innovation from Open Bionics has changed the dynamics of the industry dramatically with a low-cost and almost instant fix solution. What would have normally required months can now be supplied in no longer than two days, and for almost a tenth of the price tag.
The ground-breaking technology has been awarded this year’s James Dysan award in the UK, and proud 25 year-old Bristolian Joel Gibbard is confident his creation will be selling in the market by next year. The vital, life enhancing product will be up for grabs for a modest £2,000 – a price tag which includes the cost of fitting as well.
Following a 3D-scan, an amputee will be fitted with a cut-to-size socket and hand with movable fingers.
Sensors on the wearer’s skin pick up on muscle movements, which in turn transmit myoelectric signals, therefore controlling the hand’s clasp and grip. So while users won’t be able to feel what the fingers are touching, sensors built into the extremities will be able to register what they are coming into contact with, to in turn ration the extent of their pressure.