The British startup Open Bionics created low-cost 3D-printed bionic hands to “arm the masses.” According to the company, there are an estimated 11.4 million hand amputees worldwide. Some have hooks, a few have robotic hands but most have no prosthesis at all. However, the robotic option is too expensive for most people to afford.
The company offers custom 3D-printed bionic hands for around 1300 euros—a big cost advantage compared to the usual price, which can be 10 or 15 times higher.
Open Bionics says it did not set out to build just a human hand, but something “more fashionable and more daring.” The firm explains that its devices are made from strong, flexible materials which give them a unique gripping ability. They are as light as possible, to eliminate a common drawback of robotic hands.
Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She's the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.