Nothing says Feel Good Friday like free bionic arms for kids! That’s why the focus of today’s post is the organization, Limbitless Solutions.
to empower confidence and increase accessibility in the limb difference community through art-infused bionics.” They do this by creating and donating personalized, 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children.
According to this Fast Company article on Limbitless Solutions, “There are likely more than 30,000 children under the age of 16 in the U.S. with “limb difference,” the full or partial absence of a limb.” Realistic prosthetic arms can cost between $20,000 to $30,000 and won’t fit a growing child for very long. The team at Limbitless works with UCF interns focused on a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education. They use free Autodesk software (yay!) and consult with the children to design and create unique arms that can be 3D printed. Check out this link to see some examples of their work or visit the lab with Bill Gates in this video.
The arms come with interchangeable sleeves and are very artistic. They’re also bionic! Using non-invasive electromyography (EMG) technology, children are able to control the function of the arms and make multiple gestures. They learn the mechanics of their new arms by playing video games created by Limbitless. To date, Limbitless has delivered 40 arms to 36 children who are now part of the Limbitless bionic family.
In addition to arms for children, Limbitless is expanding its mission to provide bionic limbs to adults, veterans, and first-responders. They’re also developing “a powered wheelchair attachment designed for individuals with mobility limitations, such as ALS patients or quadriplegics.” Code name, Project Xavier.
The team at Limbitless Solutions believes that the families of children with limb difference should not have to pay for the bionic arms or the occupational therapy needed to learn how to use them. That means they rely on the support of their donors. If you’d like to be one of them, you can make a donation here. You can also amplify their work on social media. Like the Limbitless Solutions Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @Limbitless3D.