“Children with disabilities will always belong” – Limbitless Bionic Kids NPO
1.What is it?
Limbitless is a Non- Profit Organisation (NPO) providing children with free bionic prosthetics and running various projects to uplift disabled children in society.
The bionic prosthetics are 3D printed by a team of engineers who are advancing the field of personalised prosthetics through additive manufacturing – building 3D objects layer- upon- layer of material.
2. Why is it important?
We welcome babies with congenital anomalies in 29.8 per 10, 000 births in the UK (1).
In order to give them the best possible start to life in society, bionic prosthetics personalised to the patient will help to:
- reduce stigma
- enhance their physical experience
- enable children to take part in sports and extra curricular activities
- integrate children with disabilities into society with more fluidity
Limbitless are currently based in the US, but their main USP of personalising each prosthetic allows each child to have a positive outlook on using a prosthetic so they can reach their full potential in life.
This is Anni, born with a partially developed right arm, she has gone on to excel in playing guitar, horse riding, soccer and also helping uplift children with special needs in her community in her spare time.
3. How does it work?
Limbitless’ primary focus is on developing the bionic limbs but they also have a range of projects to improve the quality of life for children living with with limb anomalies:
3DHope project: The bionic limb is designed by engineers from the University of California who collaborate with the UCF school of Arts and Design (SVAD) to incorporate the interests of the child for the optimal personalisation.
They work with an Advancer Technologies to reduce costs of their electronic circuit systems which are muscle sensors to aid movement.
Project Xavier: A hands free wheelchair design concept which is controlled by the temporalis muscles for patients with limited manual dexterity such as those with multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and more.
Video Games Project: the same mechanism used to control the bionic arms are being adapted to create controllers for games to allow children with limb anomalies to get more creative!
The Bionic Kid project: a series of comics and video games made by children with bionic limbs to create a more inclusive landscape of superheroes with disabilities who are are still able to make a difference in the world.
4. The future
Limbitless hope to democratise prosthetics so children can approach life without having to worry about being different to those around them.
The projects above are a testament to this, as well as a goal to deliver 5, 000 bionic prosthetics to children by 2020.
5. Who is involved?
University of California
- School of Engineering
- School of Arts and Design – SVAD
Stratasys – 3D printer manufactures
Gyrobot– mechanical design consultancy
Advancer Technologies– reduce cost of EMG circuits
X3 Digital– Digital marketing and design agency