Open Bionics – a UK-based start-up – is reportedly teaming up with Disney in order to produce affordable and hero-themed prosthetic hands for disabled kids. The year-old company is scheduled to make low-cost 3D-printed prosthetics, and as part of Disney’s Techstars Accelerator program, Open Bionics will get royalty-free licenses to create prosthetics modeled off Elsa from ‘Frozen’, Iron Man, as well as a Star Wars lightsaber.
The Disney-themed prosthetics will be available in 2016 and will be priced at around $500. It has been reported that the start-up was given $120,000 to help fuel development of the upcoming models, which are controlled by impulses from the user’s muscles.
Open Bionics was a finalist in Intel’s 2014 Make It Wearable competition, and the company produces affordable 3D-printed robotic prosthetics for those with limb differences. Joel Gibbard, the start-up’s CEO says that their goal is to help change the way children look at these kind of devices.
Gibbard explains that the power of the company’s prosthetics is that the public perception is completely different: children are not being asked how they lost their hand, they’re being asked where they got their cool robot hand. He adds that what might have been perceived as their greatest weakness is now seen as their greatest strength.