Every child dreams of being just like their favorite characters — maybe Queen Elsa or Luke Skywalker — and for young amputees, this dream is beginning to become a reality in a major way.
In an attempt to make the lives of young amputees a little easier, Disney is teaming up with Open Bionics, a UK-based company producing bionic arms for amputees, to develop movie-themed prosthetics — and not only is Disney providing royalty-free licensing to keep costs down, its creative team is donating time to help create them.
The three arms in production include a glittery snowflake hand inspired by Frozen's Queen Elsa, a lightsaber hand inspired by Star Wars, and a hand based on Iron Man's iconic red-and-gold armor. Not only are the themes themselves awesome, but all of the designs include LED lights — to help medical professionals monitor muscle strength — which makes them even more exciting for the kids.
Joel Gibbard, Open Bionics' CEO, says that most children who are missing a hand are likely born that way and are often stigmatized. When people ask them how they lost their hand, they are affected in a negative way, as if they're missing something:
"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."
The prosthetics are expected to be released to the public by the end of 2016 and will cost less than $3,000.