ProKids: A below-elbow adjustable and modular Myoelectric Prosthetic arm for children
In India, there are many cases of congenital and acquired amputation in kids every year. And, the majority of them continue to live without any solution. Factors leading to this are the majority of the population comes from an economically underprivileged section. And there are no cost-efficient options available in advanced bionic myoelectric prostheses specifically made for kids in today’s market.
Bionic/Myo-electric prosthesis is one of the most advanced and intuitive control-based systems used in developing upper limb prosthesis arms in the market. With this technology, the user will be able to hold intricately shaped objects with ease.
A very few options are available today for kids in myoelectric arms. Adding on to it, kids grow as they age. Hence there is a requirement of upgrading/changing their prosthesis after a certain period which is not a cost-efficient solution when it comes to the myoelectric prosthesis. Also, children react differently to disabilities than adults do. A child has a different set of requirements compared to adult users. Hence just a scaled-down version of a prosthetic arm cannot serve the purpose.
Through this project, we understand prostheses from a kid’s perspective and try to empathize with what a prosthesis would mean to them. A prosthesis need not be limited to serve as an aid for an amputee, but should also enhance the user’s experience and connect emotionally and functionally. The project aims to let kids utilize the advantages of bionic arms during their growth years, develop their muscle memory, and get fully accommodated to one type of prosthesis. With its modular and adjustable design, the product's life span is increased and helps cut down to costs of investing in a new prosthesis every few years. The project also focuses on letting the child playfully build their arm. The product was designed to generate curiosity among other kids and have a positive outlook towards disability with its appearance and not look at it as an ordinary arm but an extraordinary arm.