What if you could reimagine prosthetics in a way that lets kids design and make their own prosthetic robot limbs? When IDEO industrial designer Carlos Arturo Torres was a student at UMEA Institute of Design, he asked this question, and then he designed a creative prosthetic system to answer it.
Collaborating with CIREC in Columbia and LEGO Future LAB in Denmark, Torres is attempting to empower kids with disabilities in a fun, creative, and social way, using LEGO-compatible prosthetic arms that can turn into… anything the kids can imagine! Torres explains in Gizmag:
“…the key feature of the system for me, is that Lego sets are something you can build with friends and your family. Something that is that social made me think of one of the biggest challenge kids in disability have when facing society.”
…The interface houses a battery, charging port, processor unit and a pair of myoelectric sensors that track the movement of the stump and convert it into a signal. A separate muscle component then receives these signals and, equipped with a motor and Lego connectors, carries different attachments on the end.
Torres then flew to Bogota to test out the design on an eight-year-old Colombian boy named Dario, who had suffered a congenital malformation and had his right arm amputated as a result. On the lighter side, one of the LEGO sets Torres brought along was a spaceship fitted with a laser-imitating light brick. On the slightly more practical, but still awesome side was a construction backhoe, which required a power function compatible with the muscle module.
Above, Dario tries the IKO Creative Prosthetic System, a concept which may be commercially available by 2017.
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