Films like Her by Spike Jonze, Ex-Machina by Alex Garland and the cult TV show Humans have given us a taste of what the future of robotics might look like. Scarlett Johansson's dewy skin in Ghost In A Shell further blurred the lines between human and robot. Thanks to advances in technology, human-like robotics are now becoming a reality — and they have the potential to change the lives of those in need.
Enter Easton LaChappelle: At only 21 years old, he is trying to design the next standard of 3D-printed prosthetics. At least 30 million people worldwide are in need of a prosthetic device and with the average cost of a fully functioning device at more than £78,020.00 (about $100,000), it’s difficult for people to find a prosthetic they can afford, let alone something that works for their specific needs.
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After hearing about Momo, a 9-year-old girl missing her right arm from the elbow down, LaChappelle teamed up with Microsoft to create a robotic arm that looks exactly like a human hand, with everything from the feeling of skin to the folding of the fingers being considered In a three-part documentary created by Microsoft, you can see how LaChappelle mimics a young girl's fully functioning hand by scanning it and using a 3D printer to print her a prosthetic that looks as human-like as possible.
Once the prototype had been created and tested, LaChappelle released the blueprints so that anyone can download and 3D print the arm for themselves. The founder insists on keeping the project open-source to inspire external innovation.
This could be the next big jump for technology in prosthetics and will mean a dramatic change in the quality of life for those who are in need. This robotic arm is not only functional, but it will look beautiful, instilling confidence in users in a way that other prosthetics don’t. This is the next step in achieving simple and affordable prosthetics.
This post was written by Rhona McDade. For more, check out our sister site The Debrief.
Pictures: The Belief Agency
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