Two wounded landmine-infected soldiers from Ukraine are now being fitted with bionic arms.
These are the first war vets to receive the Hero Arm, a 3D-printed prosthesis manufactured by Open Bionics in Bristol.
Vitalii Ivashchuk and Andrii Gidzun tried the arm out in Munich this week. It can pinch and grasp objects with its thumbs and fingers. Sensors in the forearm activate them to control it.
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The custom-made prostheses for the men will be printed on 3D printers, and fitted next month.
Vitalii, 24 described the Hero Arm test as a “very cool sensation”, adding that “I am happy that I have such a chance to get such functional prosthesis.” It was not something I had hoped for.
“When the electrodes had been applied, and I was able to test the prosthesis, it was just a pleasure. To put it mildly, I was happy.”
Mastercard funded the prostheses for men. It is helping Superhumans raise PS33m for a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine.
Open Bionics will collaborate with the Superhumans Centre to offer prostheses, rehabilitation, and counseling to soldiers and civilians who have lost limbs in wartime.
Olena Zelenska (First Lady of Ukraine), is on the board.
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According to the Ukraine government, 62,000 miles of territory are covered in landmines and unexploded weapons.
Joel Gibbard, the Open Bionics team leader, said to Sky News that civilian casualties include children who are often unaware about the risks.
He stated, “We’ve heard of situations where they’ve been picking up the limbs and then obviously losing them. We designed the Hero Arm to be suitable for children as young eight-years old.
“It is not yet at the technological level where it could replace a human hand. It was designed for daily activities.
We designed it to hold different objects, pick up coffee cups, tie shoes, and brush teeth.
Olga Rudneva is the chief executive officer of Superhumans. She stated: “The philosophy behind Superhumans was that our patients receive the highest medical service at home, alongside their families in their own language.
“The Superhuman centre will be able to take in up to 3,000 patients annually once it opens,” said the center’s director. Patients will receive all services at no cost thanks to donors and partners.