11-year old gets Iron Man 3D printed Robotic Arm

21st June 2021

We recently fitted Ronnie with a custom-fit Hero Arm and he couldn’t believe his robotic arm prosthesis looked straight out of his favourite blockbuster, the Iron Man. 

Here’s what happened on the day Ronnie received his Iron Man Hero Arm.

Hi Ronnie, what was going through your mind when you saw the Hero Arm box in front of you? 

I just looked at this box in front of me bathed in golden light and I knew it was going to change my life. 

Was the feeling the same when you tried on the Hero Arm?

It was totally ace, it felt like a dream. When I put the prosthetic arm on, we worked on tensing the muscles so that I could control the finger movements. Being able to do simple things felt amazing. 

The best way I can describe it is it’s like getting a new book and you have expectations, but when you start discovering the story, you realise it’s amazing. 

Watch video of Ronnie Trying on His Hero Arm
What expectations did you have of the Hero Arm?

I was quite nervous before the appointment because I was thinking, what if I can’t move it, or it doesn’t fit. But within the first hour of the appointment, I could move the arm to write, open a pencil case, and play with a rubik’s cube! It’s like swimming – you have to get into the pool to learn how to swim. 

The arm really stood out to me, it didn’t look like something you would get bullied for.

Did you like the Iron Man design?

I’m a big Marvel fan, and red and gold are my favourite colours, so the design just looked so cool. 

Why did you want to get a bionic arm?

The arm really stood out to me, and it didn’t look like something you would get bullied for. 

Did you ever feel like you needed a prosthetic arm? 

No, I’ve never had a prosthesis, I always felt like I could cope. But now, I realise that even though I could cope, things could change. And I could get better at certain stuff.

What do you think you’ll use your Hero Arm for?

I already tried archery, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I do any better with the Hero Arm. Also I’m really looking forward to using my Hero Arm in school to help me write and carry things. I’m just looking forward to feeling more confident walking around in public more without feeling like I need to hide my arm. 

What did your family say when they first saw your robotic arm?

My mum just said ‘I can’t believe it’s real!’ and my brother thought the arm was out of a cyborg movie. My dad was lost for words. 

Ronnie’s Hero Arm was funded by the Tej Kholi Foundation who work really closely with the Open Bionics Foundation.  If you are a parent who would like to explore prostheses options for your child, please register your interest and we’ll be in touch with full information. 

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The Hero Arm uses myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These are then amplified and converted into intuitive and proportional bionic hand movements.


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