Getting a Hero Arm:
1. What is the new Hero Arm?
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:
Robust laser-sintered frames.
Early versions of the Hero Arm were manufactured using PLA. Now the hand and frames of every Hero Arm are laser sintered using tough Nylon 12.
Innovative socket technology:
Following feedback from our users, we worked hard to improve our socket liners. Following this change, our fluted design can run all the way down the socket liner. This change offers a number of benefits including:
- Better donning/doffing for people with bulbous residuals.
- Better ventilation.
- More adjustability, resulting in a greater probability of a comfortable fit, and more robust to changes in limb volume.
- Better suspension.
- More surface contact
New magnetic covers:
Older versions of the Hero Arm used “Dual-Lock” (velcro-like) pads to attach the covers to the frame. Following feedback from customers, we have made a product change to use magnets as the attachment mechanism instead. This change offers a number of benefits, including a more premium feel, a more robust connection, self-alignment, and they’re easier to take on and off, particularly for people with bilateral upper limb-difference.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. I’m in the process of getting my Hero Arm. Will I get the new version?
Thanks for choosing a Hero Arm! If your order was placed after October 1st 2020, you will receive the new Hero Arm.
5. 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: www.openbionics.com/sign-up.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 through our online shop.
11. 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@example.com.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Is the Hero Arm waterproof?
The Hero Arm is splash proof but not waterproof.
- 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. Register interest 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!
- Where can I find your press images?
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are shooting a documentary, would you like to be involved?
We are always interested to hear about documentary opportunities. Email us: email@example.com.
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…. ?