Limb Clinic™ offers low-cost 3D printed active prosthesis for disabled amputees.
Every year, a significant number of people loses their limbs(both upper and lower) due to accidents and other reasons. Its hard for those people to live normal life without their hands or legs. But with the advancements of technologies, its now possible to fully replace the missing limbs with mechanical ones and work as effectively as a regular human. Some companies like Bebionics and iLimb have mastered the technology through years of research but the cost is damn high (about 15- 20 Lac BDT) for regular peoples to afford in Bangladesh. Thus the peoples in Bangladesh with hand amputees have to be satisfied with passive prosthesis, which are just dummy and couldn’t regain lost functions of their missing limbs.
At Limb Clinic™, we are currently working on active prosthesis, specially focused on hand prosthesis. Our revolutionary 3D printed limb design along with cost-effective mechanical and electronic sensor-software combination made it possible to offer active prosthesis within reach of end users at an attractive price point. We would like to offer our active prosthetic arm at affordable price (about 60k-1 Lac BDT) but still a reliable and functional solution to end-users.
What made Limb Clinic™ different?
A prosthesis (also called a prosthetic limb, artificial limb, or limb “replacement”—though natural limbs are irreplaceable) is an artificially made substitute for a limb lost through a congenital defect (present at birth), accident, illness, or wartime injury. A type of prosthesis called a cosmeis is designed to be purely cosmetic and has little or no function; artificial hands often fall into this category. Functional active prosthesis is still beyond reach of regular peoples to afford, often targeted for rich peoples.
Thats why we came up with a novel solution to make active prosthesis affordable to everyone. With the advancement of 3D printing technology, it is now possible to manufacture prosthetic hand/limbs at low cost with durable materials like ABS/PLA. More interestingly, the limb could be make active through affordable myo-electric sensors and hydraulic actuators. Our revolutionary hydraulic system designed for ultra-durability at low cost. Thus separate costly series-elastic actuators could be replaced but still getting full tendon flexibility alike human muscle. This includes individual finger movement through the use of electromyographical sensors stuck to the amputee’s skin.
Combining all the cost-effective alternative technologies, we are able to manufacture fully functional active hand/limb prosthesis at low cost without compromising any human-like functionality.
Whats exciting with Limb Clinic™ ?
Robotic hands are becoming increasingly responsive and dexterous, but their cost is one of the reasons why they’re not more widely available. While robotic limbs are available, they can cost anything from £3,000 to £60,000 ($4,696 to $93,930) making them prohibitively expensive for many people. Thats because the use of expensive series-elastic actuation motors and costly materials to manufacture. Profitable companies often do not compromise the cost and technology to make affordable for all.
Thats why many peoples worldwide come up with ideas to make prosthetic limb/hands affordable for all. In the mean time, 3D printing technology bloomed and the material cost become less. The design challenges also reduced and affordable myoelectric sensors become mainstream. But one design challenge still remained, in case of hand prosthesis, the actuators for individual finger movements are costly because of their special construction and human-alike tendon flexibility requirement.
During my undergraduate course years, I have been actively working on prosthetic technologies with an aim to make affordable still fully functional. My 3rd year project was a ‘Gesture controlled Mechanical hand’ where my team had figured out cost-effective hardware and electronic-software solutions for this purpose. During my final year study, I have figured out hydraulic actuation systems as low-cost alternative to electric motors for this purpose. Combining all these, our team has got the exact cost-effective alternative solution for active prosthetic hand instead costly ones found in foreign profit-making companies.
Finally, we got the exact hardware, software and electronics solution to build active prosthetic hand in low-cost for countries like Bangladesh. Now we have a working prototype of a prosthetic hand which we could manufacture locally with our expert engineering team with high reliability.
Affordable Prosthesis, in Bangladesh??
The peoples in Bangladesh with hand amputees have to be satisfied with passive prosthesis, which are just dummy and couldn’t regain lost functions of their missing limbs. This imposes significant problem for limb amputees whether they could regain the lost functionalities of the missing part or be satisfied with cosmetic parts.
In Limb Clinic, we are going to solve these significant problems to make technologies affordable.
1. Fully functional active prosthesis is beyond reach of ordinary peoples in low-income countries.
2. Availability of such system in Bangladesh
3. Individual costly series-elastic actuator for each individual finger movement poses most of the cost (about 20k BDT each) but our clever hydraulic system design cuts off the cost significantly.
We have come up with intricate and complex 3D design of prosthetic hand and lower limb, printed with reliable material. We have also imported highly reliable myoelectric sensor from abroad for this purpose. Moreover, our mechanical team designed reliable hydraulic system to replace traditional costly series-elastic actuator. Finally, we have combined all these with our state-of-the-art software algorithm to work efficiently, reliably yet remaining cost-efficient.
Limb Clinic™, business aside rehibilitation
1. Selling the product set as requirement ( limb part + sensor)
2. Selling individual product (as replacement)
3. Maintenance through product life cycle
This is the mass model for featured/ready product that would remain available in stock. Users would order us mentioning their replacement limb size. We then print it through our 3D printing partner and assemble the set and send back to user with installation technician.
In case any existing user device malfunction, we could replace the faulty part within warranty policy or with additional charge.
Users should also be able to order custom designed parts for individual requirements. Our engineering team would analyze the feasibility and offer optimized solution at attractive price point. Individual solutions would be relatively costly but within limit.
Limb Clinic™, beyond limits…
As the technology becomes mainstream here in Bangladesh, we could supply the device to every end of the country. As being 8th largest populated countries, limb disability is a major problem here and the number is growing. After being successful within Bangladesh, we could export the device to other countries where such technology is still beyond public reach in terms of cost and availability.
We are also collaborating with OpenBionics for developing prosthesis for hand amputees.