Young amputees can now get Disney-sanctioned prosthetic limbs

Disney and UK robotics company Open Bionics team up to create 3D-printed bionic hands.

disney robotic arms

Choose your side: Kids can now have fun while gaining the ability to use their limbs fully

A traumatic event such as having your limb amputated, especially at a young age, can be a real struggle. In step Open Bionics with their next generation bionic hands for young amputees.

Open Bionics, an award-winning technology and engineering company founded in Bristol, England, have teamed up with Disney Accelerator.

They're not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favourite characters

Disney Accelerator, powered by TechStars, is a new initiative by Disney to help technology innovators turn their dreams into reality.

From the Multiplane camera and the first feature-length animated film, to Audio-Animatronics® and computer-generated animation, Disney has always been at the forefront of technology and it doesn’t plan to stop.

Through Disney Accelerator, select companies are gain access to Walt Disney Company’s creative expertise and resources to help them develop their innovative entertainment experiences and products, allowing their designs to be used royalty-free.

Do or do not, there is no try

robot arms

Currently, there are 3 Disney prosthetic arms available inspired by Iron Man, Frozen and of course, Star Wars

Spending the past three months working with Disney technicians and designers who worked on the the films Iron Man, Star Wars and Frozen to create their Disney-inspired prosthetic arm range.

Now amputee kids (and adults!) and children born without a hand can have cutting edge prosthetic limb technology while looking and feeling awesome.

According to their website, Open Bionics boast:

"Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. They won't have to do boring physical therapy, they'll train to become heroes. They're not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favourite characters."

The Iron Man limb is fitted with a pulsar blaster, while the Frozen-inspired arm glitters just like Elsa. The Star Wars lightbased styled limb has a button allowing colour change (switch to the darkside if you dare!)

disney arms

The Star Wars "lightsaber" arm changes colour with the press of a button: are you a Yoda or a Darth Vader?

These devices not only look insanely cool, but are practical too. The Iron Man hand uses LED's to light up and display muscle signals, allowing doctors and parents to see what's happening under the surface, and the child feel like Tony Stark himself.

A vibration motor in this arm also has a double function. The child can fire a rocket and the hand shudders like a weapon, but this motor can also communicate the strength of the child's grip.

On top of this, the company specialises in creating low-cost prosthetic (or bionic!) limbs by the use of 3D printing – so the cost of these special Disney superhero-styled arms is incredibly low, making them affordable to all. The range should be out before the end of next year.

For more Star Wars artwork and news, check out our special Star Wars edition of ImagineFX on sale October.

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Alice Pattillo is a staff writer at Creative Bloq, where she creates content for the likes of Imagine FX, 3D World, net and Computer Arts magazines. When she is not writing about VFX and digital art, she freelances for Metal Hammer magazine, watches too many horror films and reads comic books. Sometimes she sculpts monsters and has been writing her own comic book for over ten years (it's still unfinished…).