Prosthetic limbs have come a long way in the last decade, largely thanks to additive manufacturing. Prosthetic arms in particular have benefited from the high level of customisation, enhanced geometric complexity, and reduced weight allowed by AM. Some of them even look pretty cool, which is obviously very important to kids who need to wear such a device on a daily basis.
And this is where 343 Industries and their partner Limbitless Solutions have come in.
343 Industries are known for developing the Halo series of video games for the Xbox, and Limbitless Solutions are a not-for-profit org based out of the University of Central Florida (UCF). Limbitless Solutions dedicate their time and effort into fabricating prosthetic devices for children with limbs missing, often in the style of fictional characters from TV, movies and video games.
343 Industries has just announced further collaboration with the organization to bring more Halo-themed 3D printed arms to younglings in need of prosthetic devices.
Two new prosthetic arm sleeves are being added to the list of available devices, with one being based on the new Master Chief armor from Halo Infinite, and the other being based on the armor of Spartan Catherine-B320 (a.k.a “Kat”) from Halo: Reach. The character of Kat is notable for having her own bionic arm in-game.
The “sleeves” in question fit over the main arm chassis and are attached by magnets, allowing one-handed removal for swapping according to taste. The limb itself is controlled by non-invasive electromyography (EMG) technology, which works by detecting an EMG signal from the muscle group. The signal is processed and actuates the bionic arm in a variety of gestures.
The arms are lightweight and modular with many standard components. The standard elements simplifies the design and speeds up the production of large quantities of bionic arms.
In terms of the collaboration, 343 Industries advises on the designs from the Halo franchise, while students from the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) do the actual design work. For the new Halo-themed designs, the game developer and Microsoft worked together to develop a new satin matte green color to match the onscreen inspiration.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership and to bring these new designs to life”, said Albert Manero co-founder of Limbitless Solutions.
“Our team cannot wait for children to proudly show these new bionic designs to their friends in their classrooms or on the playground.”
As mentioned, Limbitless Solutions is a not-for-profit organization, and they make their prosthetics available for children for free, so naturally this requires donations from generous folks.
According to the website, donations can provide materials used in the printing, assembly, and painting processes for the bionic kids’ arms or fully support one child’s participation in clinical trials, including travel, occupational therapy, and additional trial-related costs.
So if you are feeling in a giving mood, then head on over to their website and you can donate to help ensure that the org can keep providing their services free of charge.