Two children born without hands get official 3D printed Spider-Man bionic arms
Last week, two British children were the first in the world to be kitted out in official Spider-Man bionic arms.
Safiyyah Uddin, age 8, from East London, wanted to be more independent and to do activities with both hands. Safiyyah said: “Sometimes it’s hard holding two books with one hand, and sometimes I drop things. I wanted a Hero Arm so I can hold things with both hands.”
When asked what she uses the Hero Arm for at school, Safiyyah explained excitedly: “I use it for lots of things, taking my pencils out, my books, carrying my bag and I play cello with it!”
When Safiyyah saw her Gwen Stacy design she immediately noticed the stencil of her favourite character “I love the design, and that you can see the Spider-Man logo and Gwen on the side.” The first thing Safiyyah did with her new arm was to go for a bike ride and loved that her arm matched the colours on her bike.
9-year-old Kaden Taylor from Burnham-on-Sea received his Hero Arm as a surprise after mentioning to his family that he’d like to wear one. When Kaden opened a box with his brand new Spider-Man bionic arm in it, he was shocked.
Kaden’s mum, Colette Taylor, has always been adamant she didn’t want to hide Kaden’s limb difference, and whether he would wear an artificial arm would always be his choice. Colette said: “Kaden has never worn any prosthetics, we’ve always offered him options and he always refused. When I showed him the Hero Arm, he shouted ‘yes please!’”
When Kaden first saw his Spider-Man Hero Arm, he exclaimed ‘Wow!’ and after looking closer into the design he commented “the design is very artistic… I can’t believe I’m the first person in the world to get this!”
As well as the cool aesthetics, Kaden wanted the Hero Arm so he could do two-handed activities with confidence. “At the moment when he rides his bike, he falls off quite a bit, gets scratches and bruises, so having a Hero Arm will make a big difference in things he can do.” added mum.
Within an hour of being fitted with his Hero Arm, Kaden was able to enjoy his lunch with both hands, open a packet of crisps, pick up fruit, and enjoy a smoothie.
The Hero Arm is a custom-made prosthesis using myoelectric sensors which detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm. These muscle contractions are read via sensors on the skin and then amplified and converted to intuitive bionic hand movements.
“We’ve been working with Disney and Marvel for close to a year to create three Spider-Man looks, and we are all beyond excited to see them brought to life by the cool kids Safiyyah and Kaden. We are now on the lookout for our Miles Morales. If you know a super-fan with a below-elbow limb difference, we want to speak with them!” commented Samantha Payne, co-founder at Open Bionics.
Open Bionics is an award-winning company creating assistive technologies that enhance the human body. They are currently equity crowdfunding on the platform Crowdcube and seek supporters to join their mission.