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Star Wars Themed Bionic Arm Developed

Star Wars Bionic Arm

To raise funds for a charity auction, the company Open Bionics has produced a 3D printed bionic arm. In anticipation for the forthcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, the prosthetic arm has a Star Wars theme.

The arm was built for Fashion Finds the Force, which is a Star Wars themed fashion collection. The 20 bespoke pieces will be auctioned off for charity. This is a U.K. event, with proceeds going to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

A bionic arm is perhaps applicable to the Star Wars movies, given that both Anakin and Luke Skywalker lose arms or hands in light sabre battles. When Star Wars first appeared, artificial limbs was firmly in the realm of science fiction; today, functional bionic limbs are a reality.

Bionic Arms Marvel

Open Bionics is working with Disney to offer three new 3D printed bionic arms for younger amputees.

For the charity event, the arm, created by additive printing technology, is designed to be fitted to a dazzling jumpsuit. The suit, has 10,000 Swarovski crystals sown into it and it is designed by fashion designer Claire Barrow. To promote the arm and the costume, both have been modeled by Grace Mandeville, who has a missing forearm.

As with the arm, speaking with 3ders, Joel Gibbard, CEO of Open Bionics, stated:

“The hand has individual finger movements. You can point and pinch and move each one independently from each other to make different grip patterns.”

If you want to bid for the item, you’ll need deep pockets. The more serious point, aside from raising money for good causes, is to demonstrate the technological advances made with helping people who have lost a limb.

As an example of how fast this area is progressing, an artificial foot and calf muscle were recently profiled. Moreover, researchers hope that a prosthetic eye will soon be able to provide a pixalated view of the world to those who have lost their sight. The utlimate goal is to enhance prosthetics with artificial skin, to provide sense of touch in a person who has lost an appendage.

Not only as these technological feats interesting, they are also lucrative. One recent report assessed the global artificial vital organs and medical bionics market to be valued at  $17.5 billion, and it is expected to rise to $32.3 billion by 2018.

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.