Open Bionics Is Transforming Kids Into Superheroes
Growing up with a physical disability is enough to make any child feel abnormal or awkward, but a new invention by Open Bionics, a company that produces 3D printed prosthetics, will now help kids who were born without or who have lost their limbs to feel like superheroes (or princesses!)
The company has begun producing bionic hands that allow children to embody their favorite characters from franchises like Frozen, Iron Man, and Star Wars, and the reception has been so strong that Open Bionics is already receiving a demand from adults for similar products. “We’ve already had several requests for the lightsabre from people who aren’t kids,” says Joel Gibbard, a 25-year-old British robotics engineer who’s helped to develop the prosthetics alongside Disney.
“The power of these prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different,” says Hibbard to The Independent. “What might have been perceived as their greatest weakness is seen as their greatest strength.”
— Open Bionics (@openbionics) October 8, 2015
Most children born without a hand feel stigmatized by others who are curious to know why they’re missing, or why they look different. “The power of these prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different,” explains Gibbard. “All of a sudden they’re not being asked how they lost their hand, they’re being asked where they got their cool robot hand, how does it feel, and how does it work? It completely flips the perception 180 degrees. What might have been perceived as their greatest weakness is seen as their greatest strength.”
But the best part is that these prosthetics are extremely affordable because of the 3D printing technology they employ, offering more children than ever the opportunity to discover that being different can be a good thing.
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THIS. IS. AWESOME.