Watch our video to find out more
Credit to The ERA Foundation ‘Born to Engineer’ – a DuckRabbit Film
Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing there are many fantastic prosthetic options for children with certain kinds of upper limb difference. Sadly though, for children with very little or no forearm there are almost no options beside a cosmetic prosthesis (think of a doll’s hand) or expensive and heavy electronic (bionic) arms. As great as they are at boosting children’s confidence, many open source devices are weak, brittle and contain lots of small parts. This means that they are not suitable for children under four years of age and can’t be certified as medical devices. They are worn at the parents own risk.
What’s so different about Ambionics?
We are raising funds and seeking grants in order to continue our work on a totally new approach and a unique way to operate a mechanical hand safely. We believe we can achieve this without expensive motors, control systems and batteries or complicated wire and lever mechanisms and harnesses. By placing water-filled rubber sacks (actuators) at pressure points on the body (e.g. under the arm, inside the socket or even within a shoe!) pressure can be generated by the user which then operates the grabbing system. It’s simple. In fact it’s exactly how spiders move their legs!
“Putting the ‘bio’ back into bionics”
We believe that this inexpensive but life changing technology could help very young children learn to use prosthetics and live more engaging lives right from the very start.
Featured image: Ambionics (spring activated) functional passive
Fully Customised Prosthetic Care
Each arm we create is customised to the user from a 3D scan of their limb. This might sound expensive but actually we use Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect scanners costing around £20 ($30) per unit – a fantastic use for outdated gaming technology. Parents usually perform the scan at home whilst their children are asleep. Once this is done they send us the file. We clean up the scan data then design and supply test sockets followed by the full arm system.
Watch this video to see the magic happen!
With support from our sponsor (RS Components) and with design input from Autodesk, we are carrying out a beta trial and giving away twenty arms to children in Africa, Australia, South America, Canada and across Europe. With obvious benefits to the children, this is also helping us to refine our service, develop our prototypes and beta test the systems and processes needed to role out on a large scale in 2018-19. Ambionics will be based at the new science park (M-SParc) on the North Wales coast when it opens early next year.
Some of the amazing kids we are working with on the beta trial this year.
Want To Help Ambionics?
If you are able to contribute to our fund raising efforts you can do so here
We accept debit /credit card payments and PayPal. if you would like to set up a small monthly contribution instead, you can do that too using the ‘PayPal Donate’ button below. Thank you very much! The money we raise goes directly into R&D so that we can help more children faster and keep the costs as low as possible.
We are really grateful for anything you can afford to give. If you can’t afford to make a donation but would still like to help then we’d love it if you could share our story on your social media and tell all your friends and family about us. Thank You!
Ben and Sol
Founders of Ambionics