Disney-themed bionic limbs are coming for kids in need
Amputees of all ages are among the many people who are going to enjoy the very real-world benefits of technologies like 3-D printing, but for young amputees, one company is using their technological know-how to make some truly heroic prosthetics.
Open Bionics has been working on making affordable 3-D printed hands for amputees, and recently announced a new line for kids. The designs for the hands are inspired by some of the most popular movies of the past few years, including Iron Man, Frozen, and Star Wars. Yup — soon kids in need of prosthetics will be able to opt for an Elsa-inspired hand or Iron Man’s glove, the latter of which comes complete with a vibration action to simulate a rocket launching!
These prosthetics are fully functional and, on top of being totally necessary, bring a little extra magic to kids who need it more than most. If you’re wondering how Open Bionics negotiated the rights to these well-known characters’ famous forearms, get ready to feel your heart swell a little: Disney teamed up with the company to make this dream come true at the lowest cost possible to the families receiving the prosthetics.
Open Bionics is part of Disney’s Accelerator program, and Disney provided the licenses needed to make the character-inspired hands for free. The creative team also volunteered their time and expertise at no cost to Open Bionics, which helps explain how the company is able to keep the prices of these life-changing accessories so low.
The company plans to begin offering the prosthetic hands next year, and they will cost around $500. This is a significant drop off from the non-Disney models, which are expected to be about $3,071, or £2,000. When you consider the fact that the average prosthetic hand and arm costs between $3,000 and $30,000, it’s clear that Open Bionics’ work in the field is massively important and completely life-changing.
For the kids who need them, these new designs could make their dreams of being Marvel superheroes or ice princesses come true — in addition to providing them with a prosthetic that will absolutely change their day-to-day lives for the better. Yes to all of this.