State-of-the-art bionic weapons donated to Ukrainian soldiers seriously injured by landmines | Scientific and technical news

Two Ukrainian soldiers who were amputated after being injured by landmines are armed with advanced bionic weapons made in the UK.

They are the first war veterans to be fitted with the new Hero Arm – a 3D printed prosthesis made by Bristol-based tech company Open Bionics.

Andrii Gidzun and Vitalii Ivashchuk tried the arm this week in Munich. It has moveable fingers and thumbs that allow them to pinch and grab objects. It is controlled by sensors activated by muscles in the forearm.

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Bespoke prostheses will now be made for both men on 3D printers and fitted next month.

Vitalii, 24, described testing the Hero Arm as a “very cool feeling,” adding, “I’m thrilled to have such an opportunity to get such a functional prosthesis. I didn’t even expect it.

“When the electrodes were applied and I had the opportunity to test this prosthesis, I simply enjoyed it. I was delighted, to put it mildly.”

The men’s prostheses were funded by Mastercard, which is supporting the Superhumans charity foundation to raise £33million to build a specialist hospital in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The Superhumans Center will work with Open Bionics to provide prosthetics, rehabilitation, and counseling to civilians and soldiers who have lost limbs to war.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, sits on the center’s board of directors.

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The Ukrainian government estimates that at least 62,000 square miles of its territory is littered with landmines and other unexploded weapons.

Joel Gibbard, who led the Open Bionics team to fit the prostheses, told Sky News that civilian casualties include children, who are often unaware of the risks.

He said: “We’ve heard of circumstances where they’ve picked them up and obviously lost limbs. So when we designed the Hero Arm, we decided to try to make it suitable for kids right from the start. eight years old.

“It’s not yet at the technological level where it could replace a human hand. We designed it for the activities of daily living.

“We’re aiming for it to be able to hold things of different sizes, picking things up, holding a cup of coffee, tying shoelaces, brushing your teeth – those are the kinds of things we focused on in the design.”

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Olga Rudneva, Managing Director of Superhumans, said: “The philosophy of Superhumans is that our patients receive the best medical service at home, next to their families, in their own language.

“Once the Superhuman Center opens, it will serve up to 3,000 patients each year. All services will be free to patients thanks to partners and donors.”


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