State-of-the-art bionic weapons given to Ukrainian soldiers seriously wounded by landmines | News from science and technology

Two Ukrainian soldiers who had amputations after being wounded by landmines are receiving state-of-the-art 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 technology company Open Bionics.

Andrii Gidzun and Vitalii Ivashchuk tried their hand this week in Munich. They have movable fingers and thumbs that allow them to pinch and grasp objects. It is controlled by sensors activated by muscles in the forearm.

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Custom braces will now be made for the two men on 3D printers and fitted next month.

Vitaly, 24, described testing the Hero arm as a “very cool feeling”, adding: “I’m glad to have such an opportunity to get such a functional prosthesis. I didn’t even hope for that.

“When the electrodes were applied and I had the opportunity to test this prosthesis, I simply enjoyed it.” I was, to say the least, satisfied.

The male prostheses were funded by Mastercard, which is supporting the Superhumans charity to raise £33 million 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 as a result of war.

The first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, is on the board of directors of the center.

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The Ukrainian government estimates that at least 62,000 square miles of its territory are littered with mines and other unexploded ordnance.

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

He said: “We have heard of circumstances where they were being picked up and apparently then losing their limbs.” When we designed the Hero arm, we decided to try to make it suitable for eight-year-olds.

“It is not yet at the technological level to be a substitute for the human hand.” We designed it for the activities of everyday life.

“We intend for it to be able to hold objects of different sizes, pick things up, hold a cup of coffee, tie shoelaces, brush teeth – those are the things we focused on in the design.”

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Olga Rudneva, CEO 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 receive up to 3,000 patients each year.” All services will be free for patients thanks to partners and donors.

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