A 15-year-old amputee recently had a life-changing experience when she received her inaugural bionic arm, marking a moment of immense joy captured in a video shared by Open Bionics, the creators of the innovative 3D-printed Hero Arm. The recipient, Grace, exhibited sheer delight as she interacted with cutting-edge technology, showcasing her ability to manipulate objects using the robotic hand.
We’re pretty sure Grace never stopped smiling through her Hero Arm delivery! 😂 She and her dad Ken traveled from the east coast to our Denver clinic, and Grace returned home with her Hero Arm after mastering control of it almost instantly! 🦾💙 #heroarm #openbionics pic.twitter.com/TKcIEX2iWY— Open Bionics (@openbionics) November 13, 2023
Open Bionics, a company with clinics spread across the U.S., U.K., and Europe, is dedicated to developing medical devices that augment the human body’s capabilities. The Hero Arm, specifically designed for individuals with below-elbow limb differences, incorporates two EMG sensors within the forearm section of the prosthesis. In direct contact with the wearer’s skin, these sensors detect muscle movements. Consequently, when the user engages or moves specific muscle groups, the Hero Arm responds by opening or closing its hand. Open Bionics aptly describes the process: “The easiest comparison: ball your hand into a fist and move your wrist inward. Those muscles in your forearm close the bionic hand. Move it outward, and those muscles open the bionic hand!”
The video released by Open Bionics illustrates the seamless process of affixing the Hero Arm to Grace’s forearm with the assistance of a professional. Impressively, the teenager swiftly grasps control of the prosthesis, effortlessly opening and closing the hand, manipulating utensils like a fork and knife, and even lifting a suitcase. Open Bionics shared, “We’re pretty sure Grace never stopped smiling through her Hero Arm delivery! She and her dad Ken traveled from the east coast to our Denver clinic, and Grace returned home with her Hero Arm after mastering control of it almost instantly!”
15 year old amputee Grace receives her #bionic arm 🦾— Franco Ronconi 🇮🇹 (@FrRonconi) November 16, 2023
Made possible by @openbionics#WearableTech #TechForGood #HealthTech @Hana_ElSayyed @enilev @Shi4Tech @mvollmer1 @CurieuxExplorer @anand_narang @Fabriziobustama @NevilleGaunt @sonu_monika @RagusoSergio @baski_LA @fogle_shane pic.twitter.com/a2db0WHZg2
Beyond facilitating various tasks through its multi-grip functions, the Hero Arm boasts a 180° wrist rotation and the ability to secure itself in a desired position, eliminating concerns about unintentional muscle control misuse. Adding a touch of personalization, the bionic arm offers 50 different magnetic covers, allowing users like Grace to alter its appearance. With her newfound prosthesis, it’s evident that Grace is set to continue enjoying and exploring the possibilities afforded by her remarkable bionic arm.