A boy who lost four limbs to meningitis has been fitted with the first-ever R2-D2-inspired bionic arm.
Kye Vincent, from Leighton Buzzard, Beds, started crowdfunding for the Star Wars character-themed bionic arm after he lost four limbs to the horrific infection when he was just eight years old.
His mum, Cheryl, said: "They didn't have much of a chance of saving his limbs. Kye said he wanted to be a bionic boy, so we started fundraising.
"Seeing Kye with a hand again was very, very emotional. I was full of pride, I could burst. I was so happy for him.
“From a very young age, he's always loved Star Wars. And to have it on a prosthetic arm, it shows what he's into."
The arm is one of several hero arms manufactured by Bristol-based company Open Bionics.
Kye’s 3D-printed multi-grip arm is the only one of its kind available for children. Among the different choices are Disney and Marvel-themed arms, including Frozen and Iron Man.
Samantha Payne, co-founder of Open Bionics said: "We wanted to show that people with a difference can be superheroes.
"There are no other multi-grip prosthetics available for children, and the ones that are can be quite ugly or impractical."
Star Wars fan makes bulletproof stormtrooper suit and then opens fire on it
LEGO unveil enormous 3,300 piece Batmobile from classic Tim Burton movie
She added that they were working with the NHS to make the limbs more widely available – they can currently only be secured through private treatment and funding.
"We are waiting for NHS England to update their out-of-date guidelines to give access to amputees in the UK this multi-grip technology that costs the same or less than current NHS myoelectric solutions," she said.
Royal Marines unveil 'bionic commandos with AI drones' as UK's next strike force
The arm works using EMG sensors that detect muscle movements, and the hand is controlled by tensing the same muscles which are used to open and close a biological hand.
Growing children can be fitted for a normal prosthetic up to twice a year, however, the bionic arm has an adjustable size which means it can grow alongside the child.
Open Bionics also offers an insurance policy, with free refits for up to five years.
The company has provided bionic arms to children in the UK and US.
Curt Wainwright, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, bought an Iron Man arm for his 13-year-old son, Jonathan.
He said: "Normal prosthetics are more cosmetic. He wanted it to be of use to him. He was born without a hand, so he has become accustomed to using his nubbie. So at his age, he wanted it to be 'useful'."
He shared a video of his son using the arm to drink apple juice: "The look on his face is all you need to know."
It comes after a Star Wars fan built a bulletproof stormtrooper suit using five 3D printers .
- Star Wars
Source: Read Full Article