With the Cybathlon going on, showcasing the cutting-edge prosthetic technologies, I couldn’t help thinking about the low-cost available options when I met a kid with several limb differences in my project village in India. What if we could (litterally) give him a hand?
The e-NABLE community has been designing, printing and fitting hands and arms for children with upper limb differences. So far, they have solutions for hand- differences (missing fingers, functional wrist) and forearms (no functional wrist, functional elbow). All of the prosthetics are open-source so that anyone can print their own and edit the design, allowing constant improvement and adaptability.
The UnLimbited Isabella and Alfie designs have fingers powered by elbow motion. If the bearer of the prosthetic bends their elbow, the fingers will close, enabling them to grasp objects.
The prosthetic is printed in PLA to allow thermoforming, and is fully scalable to be adapted to the recipient.
Look at those smiles when they try their new arms on for the first time!
Before learning about the 3D-printed arms, I knew about the Robohand initiative and 3D-printed hands. Here are some designs: