We have seen many types of prosthetic arm, especially for kids, that can be easily printed on a 3D printer for as low as $50. Low cost and easy access make sure that a child can get a new prosthetic arm as they outgrow it. What can be more fun for those kids is if they could have an arm they could have fun building with – something that will get their creative juices flowing, and also create great camaraderie with friends and family.
Carlos Arturo Torres has designed the IKO Creative Prosthetic System – a prosthetic arm that can be built and endlessly customized with Lego blocks so kids could get practically whatever they want for a limb – a claw, spaceship, swim fin, telescope, video game controller – the list goes on.
IKO consists of a base which connects to the upper arm, has a battery, processor and sensors which
detect muscle movements and send them to the other end of the arm which can be a Mindstorm driven robot or a hand. There is a separate charging station to charge the base battery.
The idea behind IKO is not just to give a cool prosthetic limb to kids but also to foster creativity and social interaction. Lego building blocks are well known for initiating collaboration amongst people in a group, and the same principle is being applied here. IKO is meant for kids in the age range of 3 – 12, which is an important phase for them to develop self esteem and confidence, and that’s where IKO can give them a boost, making their disability feel less of a limitation.
IKO won the Netxplo Change Award this year. This award is given by Netexplo Observatory – independent observatory that studies the impact of digital tech on society and business. IKO is expected to be available sometime early 2017.
Watch the video below to learn more about IKO and how it can be used by kids with disabilities.