Open Bionics Hero Arm FAQ

If you are wondering if the Open Bionics Hero Arm is the right prosthesis for you, please see some of the frequently asked questions that might help you make the decision. If you can’t find the answer you need, please get in touch with our team here.

How does a myoelectric prosthetic arm work?

A bionic arm or myoelectric arm, is a prosthesis powered by electric sensors fitted inside a prosthesis that can read muscle movements when the prosthesis is worn. These sensors read muscle movements, and depending on how you move them they get converted into intuitive bionic movements of your prosthesis. Bionic arms allow individuals to have more hand movements, with the Hero Arm you can make use of up to eight different grip modes.

Why are prosthetics so expensive?

While the Hero Arm is three times cheaper than the average myoelectric arm, costs can still put a strain on the family. Here at Open Bionics it’s our mission to make bionic arms accessible to individuals with limb differences around the world. If you need support to fund for a Hero Arm, register your interest and we will put you in touch with our customer success manager to ensure you have the support you need to fund for a Hero Arm.

What is a 3d printed hand?

Here at Open Bionics, we use clinically approved 3D printing methods to ensure your prosthesis has the perfect fit for ultimate comfort, is lightweight so you can wear it all day, and is affordable so more people can access bionic technology around the world.

Getting a Hero Arm

What is the new Open Bionics Hero Arm?

The Hero Arm is powered by bionic technology. We first launched the Hero Arm in April 2018, following years of R&D to combine advanced technology with affordable pricing and empowering aesthetics. Since launch we have continued improving the reliability and performance of the product, and in October 2020 we announced the new Hero Arm. This version is available immediately and includes a wave of improvements such as:

How much does the Hero Arm cost?

The Hero Arm will vary in cost depending on where you live and which warranty package you choose.

Is the Hero Arm covered on health insurance?

While 70% of our Hero Arm orders in the US have been covered by insurance, please visit our prosthetics insurance page for more information.

I’m a Hero Arm user. Do I have the new version?

If your Hero Arm order was placed after October 1st 2020, you’ll have all of the new features. You’ll be able to tell because your arm will have magnetic covers. If your Hero Arm was ordered before October 1st 2020, it was the previous version of the Hero Arm without these features.

I’m a Hero Arm user. How do I get the new version?

A pricing strategy and delivery method is being developed for existing Hero Arm wearers to access upgrades. More info on that coming soon! Alternatively, if you’re in the USA, you can ask your clinician when you can apply to your insurance company for the new Hero Arm.

I’m in the process of getting my Hero Arm. Will I get the new version?

Thanks for choosing the Hero Arm! If your order was placed after October 1st 2020, you will receive the new version of the Hero Arm.

Where is the new Hero Arm available?

The Hero Arm is available through prosthetics clinics in the USA, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium and Russia. If you live in one of these countries, please sign up here.

I want to get a Hero Arm, what are the steps?

That’s great news! The first step is for you to register interest through our website. If you meet the requirements (below elbow limb difference and over the age of 8) we will get in touch to pair you with your nearest private prosthetics clinic. This is where you will attend your initial consultation to find out about more about the Hero Arm and assess suitability. You can only purchase a Hero Arm through a registered private prosthetics clinic.

I am registered with an NHS clinic, how can I get a Hero Arm?

The Hero Arm is only available privately at the moment. We’ve been working closely with the NHS, as we’re really keen to enable our customers to get Hero arms for free through the NHS and we’re preparing for a second trial of the Hero arm. The NHS has a lot to consider when looking at new devices and decisions can take a long time but they are being very supportive towards our work. Please do mention to your NHS prosthetist that you are interested, however if you would like one immediately we would have to refer you to one of our private partner clinics.

How does the Hero Arm work?

The Hero Arm is a myoelectric prostheses. When a user intentionally flexes specific muscles in their residual limb, EMG electrodes within the Hero Arm detect tiny electrical signals, allowing them to activate different grips with precise, proportional control.

How do I get a Hero Arm for my child, relative, or friend?

By registering their details through our website, if they meet our requirements (below elbow limb difference and aged 8 or over) we will get in touch with you and pair them with their nearest private clinic. They will next attend their initial consultation to find out about more about the Hero Arm and assess suitability.

I want to purchase a Hero Arm through your website, how do I do this?

You can only purchase a Hero Arm through a private prosthetic clinic. Hero Arm customers can purchase customisable covers by getting in touch with our team to find out the latest design options available.

I’m a researcher. How do I purchase a Hero Arm?

We usually only create Hero Arm’s for limb-different people who require the medical device. If you are keen to find out more please contact [email protected].

Can the Hero Arm be used by people with limb differences which are above-elbow or have a partial hand, e.g fingers and thumb?

Currently we can only fit the Hero Arm to people with below-elbow amputations or limb differences. We can sometimes help those with partial hands but please be aware that the residual limb would have to fit within a socket comfortably so it may not be suitable for all. In order to find out if you are eligible please speak to us and your prosthetist.

Can you fit Hero Arm to toddlers?

We can only fit the Hero Arm to children over the age of 8 years old. However, we’re continually developing new technologies with the aim to fit younger children.

I’m not UK based, how can I get a Hero Arm?

The Hero Arm is available in the UK, USA, and certain countries in Europe, with more regional launches planned for 2020. Register your interest to be the first to get one.

Is the Hero Arm waterproof?

The Hero Arm is splash proof but not waterproof.

Opportunities

Can I apply for a job, internship or work placement at Open Bionics?

We’re not currently advertising for any internships. Keep an eye on our careers page.

Can I test your next product?

We’ll put a call-out through our social media channels and email newsletter when we’re looking for volunteer users. If you’d like to help us develop new technologies please make sure you follow us on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram.

Can I invest in Open Bionics?

We’re always looking for investors that want to help build a tech-for-good company. Get in touch here.

What do I need to study to pursue a career in Robotics?

Our growing team comprises of a wide range of skill sets – mechanical engineers, software engineers, electronics engineers, product designers etc. In terms of research degrees, many of our engineers studied engineering or robotics at university.

Can you help with a school project?

We’d love to help out with your project but unfortunately our capacity is very limited as we are focused on development for existing and future assistive devices. We wish you the best of luck but can contribute our time right now!

Press

Where can I find your press images?

Check out our press images here and case studies here. Email [email protected] for interviews and more information.

Can you give a presentation at our event?

Maybe, our product development takes priority so don’t be offended if we say no. Email us: [email protected].

We are shooting a documentary, would you like to be involved?

We are always interested to hear about documentary opportunities. Email us: [email protected].

Research and Development

Can you make a prosthetic leg for my dog/cat?

No, we’re investing all of our energy into developing bionic limbs for humans.

Can you make me a prosthetic leg, exoskeleton, partial hand?

No, we are currently working really hard to solve problems for below-elbow amputees. We are researching and developing more assistive devices so please watch this space, but for now we are focused on below-elbow prosthetics.

Can I make a hand/be a developer?

Due to the high level of regulatory requirements and quality necessary to manufacture a compliant medical device, particularly one as complex as the Hero Arm, we are unable to sanction the manufacture of Hero Arms outside of our regulated production facility. Our focus is to improve the efficiency and quality of our production facility so I’m afraid we aren’t going to be looking to work with anyone else to manufacture our products.

Can you 3D print me a…. ?

Our printers are busy making Hero Arms! Try shapeways or 3DHubs.

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