Most of us are born with two arms and legs, but it's not a rule. And even if we are born that way, an illness or an accident can change everything. Those who stand out from the crowd due to missing a limb, whether children or adults, now have the opportunity to make this flaw their trademark. They can into superheroes with special powers - all thanks to a robotic limb.
This is not a fairy tale or a science fiction movie. Thanks to the incredible capabilities of today's technology, every handicapped person can be exceptional today. Samantha Payne decided to develop something truly special. She didn't want to copy anyone; she only wished to help people for whom a task as simply as tying their shoelaces costitutes an unprecedented problem.
She developed a prototype of a robotic bionic arm Hero Arm, which turns the ill into superheroes.
"I decided that rather than a prosthesis that mimics the human arm, I would develop a robotic model, which wouldn't aim to be as realistic as possible for the purpose of blending in the crowd, but would become the pride of its wearers instead,"
explained the Britsh-born from Knowle West, who, without any training in technology or degree in engineering, began leading this unique project at Knowle West Media Center.
Cooperation with handicapped people
In her words, none of the 'desibled' desires a prosthesis that looks like a real limb. She began to cooperate with the ill, who explained to her what tasks they needed the arm to be able to perform. From folding linen to doing one's make-up.
“With a robotic arm, the wearer looks like a character from a science fiction movie, and it draws the attention of everyone around. A person's difference becomes their superpower,”
she describes one of the greatest advantages of the revolutionary model.
Tilly Lockey, ambassador of Open Bionics, is also an advocate of otherness. "I like to try out what I can do with my bionic arm. I believe everyone in the world is unique and we should accept that and be proud of it, instead of hiding or trying to fit in," said Tilly, who uses Hero Arm on both arms and runs panels at basic schools, showing children what she's capable of doing.
Less than $ 1,000
The first prototype of the robotic arm gave birth to its own company, Open Bionics. Soon it started to cooperate with companies developing the latest technologies and materials. However, the main goal still remains that this luxury prosthesis is supposed to help handicapped people, which is why it can be purchased for a very affordable price. Instead of $ 100 000, it's being sold for less than $ 1,000 thanks to the use of 3D technologies.
Thanks to that, 600 clinics all over America have already arranged cooperation with Open Bionics. The initial funding was also provided by Toyota, which highlighted the robotic arm in the campaign Driven.