Disney is helping young amputees become real heroes by helping Open Bionics create bionic hands inspired by Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters.
Open Bionics is a company that was chosen to be a part of the 2015 Disney Accelerator Program, a program where Disney donates money to innovative tech startups that focus on entertainment. Its aim is to help families get affordable prosthetics as oftentimes they can be very expensive. It uses 3D printing to manufacture the parts. Disney latched on to the company and allowed them to use their licenses royalty free.
Open Bionics recently created their first sets of prostheses. Kids can choose from an Iron Man hand that makes rocket sounds, a sparkly Queen Elsa hand, and a light saber-inspired Star Wars hand. The prosthetic hands are customizable and include LED lights. They’ll be available in 2016.
“Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. They won’t have to do boring physical therapy, they’ll train to become heroes. They’re not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favorite characters. The Walt Disney Company is generously donating the time of its creative teams and providing royalty free licenses. More designs coming soon,” the Open Bionics team stated.
While bionic limbs can normally cost tens of thousands of dollars, these bionic hands would cost around $500. This is particularly helpful as kids outgrow their prosthetic as they get older.
This innovation is similar to one from a non-profit organization called Limbitless Solutions where they created an Iron Man-inspired bionic arm. Earlier this year, Robert Downey, Jr. presented seven-year-old Alex Pring with the prosthetic as part of Microsoft’s Collective Project.