Open Bionics announced today that its 3D-printed Hero Arm prosthetic will be available for purchase in the UK next month. The company's founders started Open Bionics because they were interested in developing prosthetic limbs that were less expensive than traditional options, which typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. Using 3D-scanning and 3D-printing, they aim to produce more affordable options that can be constructed much more quickly than other prosthetic devices. In the past, they've developed Star Wars-, Iron Man- and Frozen-themed prosthetic hands for children as well as a Deus Ex-inspired arm.
The Hero Arm is the company's latest design. Open Bionics says its three-times more affordable than similar multi-grip bionic arms and each one is custom built for the person using it. It's available for children as young as eight years old and Open Bionics is touting it as the "world's first medically approved 3D-printed bionic arm." We've reached out to see what exactly they mean by "medically approved."
The device weighs less than a kilogram and can lift up to eight. It also has a long-lasting battery, custom covers that can be switched out and offers multiple types of grips that can be reconfigured depending on the user's preferences. The Hero Arm has a freeze mode so users can hold a position without added effort, feedback in the form of lights, sounds and vibrations and a posable wrist that can rotate 180 degrees, making it easier to grab things at odd angles.
You can check out more features in the video below. The Hero Arm will be available in the UK starting April 25th.