A prosthetic hand is about more than just improving the wearer’s physical capabilities. It’s also about improving their self-confidence. So Open Bionics, makers of low-cost but highly capable prosthetic robotic hands, has teamed up with Disney to realise some very cool designs.
Kids can be bullied for something as innocuous as wearing the wrong shirt; imagine what life is like for a child missing a limb. So not only has Open Bionics designed what it’s claiming is the world’s smallest bionic hand, the company has also joined forces with Disney to create three versions featuring designs and glowing LED features inspired by Iron Man, Frozen, and Star Wars.
Led by Joel Gibbard, who’s best known for the open source 3D-printable Open Hand Project, Open Bionics is part of Techstars’ Disney Accelerator program. That means they have royalty-free access to these three properties, and worked with Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB on the Star Wars hand.
The company’s goal is to produce a commercially viable prosthetic using the same 3D-printing production techniques as the open source version, keeping the cost highly affordable, but with more of a focus on aesthetics and design instead of functionality and precision. Performing brain surgery with it might not be an option, but how great must a kid with a disability feel with a glowing Iron Man hand on one arm?