Imagine being able to snap a mechanical digger or a Star Wars spaceship onto the end of your arm. With the next level of prosthetic designs from Lego, this could soon be a playtime reality for kids with prosthetic limbs.
This is Iko Creative Prosthetic System, the award-winning project of Colombian designer Carlos Arturo Torres, who created this tech-based machinery for children with prosthetics. They’ll be able to customize their limbs as easily as playing with the colorful building blocks.
The prosthetic tech was designed in conjunction with the Danish toy company’s experimental research department Future Lab, and Cirec, a Colombian-based company for physical rehabilitation.
Using censors to track muscle movement in the stump, a signal is sent to control the robotic attachment. Combine this with a central processing unit in the prosthetic and an engine from Lego Mindstorms, the company’s robotics line, and the wearer can create, program and customize their prosthetic limb.
“My idea was not to make a traditional prosthetic,” Torres explains to the Guardian, “but to propose a system that was flexible enough for kids to use, hack and create by themselves and with their friends.”
Torres envisions more manufacturers engaging in creating augmented body parts for useful tools that could interact with each other. “Imagine Marvel developing superhero modules,” he says. “Or Mattel making dolls’ houses or car launchers, GE producing microscopes and Nintendo having compatible accessories.”
Combining creative play with collaborative technology may well build into the interactive world of tomorrow.