Robotics Firm Creates 3D-Printed Superhero Prosthetic Arms


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

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2949 Robotics Firm Creates 3D-Printed Superhero Prosthetic Arms
Open Bionics/Disney

A U.K. based robotics company and Disney have joined forces to create 3D-printed prosthetic arms that will get any kid (or even adult) excited.

Open Bionics has created three designs: a glittery arm inspired by Elsa from Frozen, a robotic arm designed to look like Tony Stark’s Iron Man and a lightsaber-themed Star Wars hand. As if that wasn’t cool enough, the lightsaber arm has customized LED lights and creates the iconic lightsaber “wooosh” sound.


As part of the Disney Accelerator program, Disney allowed the company to use its designs for free. The program is an initiative between Disney and Techstars to help foster innovation and creativity in the tech world. Techstars is a dream team of tech geeks who provide investment and mentorship for startups. Their mentors include highly experienced members of companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Citymapper and Nike. 

Open Bionics was founded in Bristol, England, by Joel Gibbard, whose company has already won numerous awards for innovation in technology and engineering. 

Speaking to The Independent, Joel Gibbard said: “We’ve already had several requests for the lightsabre from people who aren’t kids.”

He added, “The power of these prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different. All of a sudden they’re not being asked how they lost their hand, they’re being asked where they got their cool robot hand, how does it feel, and how does it work? It completely flips the perception 180 degrees. What might have been perceived as their greatest weakness is seen as their greatest strength.”


Perhaps what is even more amazing about these prosthetic arms is their comparatively low price. Through the use of 3D-printing, the company is able to make the prosthetics at a lower price than traditional methods. They’re expected to cost less than $3,000 (£1,940) and will be on sale before the end of 2016.


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  • prosthetic,

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  • 3D-printing