The Hero Arm contains movable fingers and thumbs that enable it to squeeze and hold objects, making it possible to tie shoelaces and brush teeth.
Two Ukrainian soldiers who lost limbs due to landmine injuries are being equipped with cutting-edge, British-made bionic arms.
They are the first veterans to get the revolutionary Hero Arm, a 3D-printed prosthesis created by the Bristol-based technology firm Open Bionics.
Andrii Gidzun and Vitalii Ivashchuk tested the arm in Munich this week. Its fingers and thumbs are movable, allowing it to pinch and grab objects. It is operated by sensors that are actuated by forearm muscles.
Using 3D printers, custom prostheses will be created for the two men and fitted next month.
Vitalii, 24 years old, described trying the Hero Arm as an ordeal “really cool sensation, adding, “I am grateful to have the chance to acquire such a working prosthetic. I did not even anticipate it.
Landmine-wounded Ukrainian servicemen
“When the electrodes were applied and I was given the chance to test this prosthesis. I found it to be a delightful experience. I was, to put it mildly, pleased.”
Mastercard financed the men’s prostheses and is helping the nonprofit organization Superhumans raise £33 million to create a specialized hospital in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.
The Superhumans Centre will collaborate with Open Bionics to deliver prosthetics, rehabilitation, and counseling to war-wounded citizens and soldiers.
Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, is on the board of the center.
The Ukrainian government estimates that landmines and other unexploded munitions occupy a minimum of 164,000 square kilometres of the country’s territory.
Children, who are frequently unaware of the risks, are considered civilian victims, according to Joel Gibbard.
He stated, “We’ve heard of incidents in which individuals who picked them up lost limbs. In inventing the Hero Arm, we aimed to make it appropriate for children as young as eight years old.
“It is not yet technologically advanced enough to serve as a replacement for a human hand. It was created for daily living tasks.
“We want it to be able to grip objects of varying sizes, pick things up, carry a cup of coffee, tie shoelaces, and brush teeth. These are the sorts of design considerations we made.”
The chief executive officer of Superhumans, Olga Rudneva, stated: “Superhumans’ concept is that patients receive the best medical care at home, close to their family, and in their native language.
“Once the Superhuman Centre is operational, it will accept up to three thousand patients per year. All treatments will be provided at no cost to patients, courtesy of partners and benefactors.”