Easton LaChappelle started working to build his first prosthetic hands in his teen. A few years later, he has gone from early prototypes to a refined product. His goal now is to develop working robotic prosthetics in a way to lower the cost of production.
Amputees and those born without a limb are often stigmatized for their differences, and children are confronted with the inability to do what other children can do, and they may be ridiculed by their peers.
Unlimited Tomorrow address the need for accessibility
The company’s goal is to make its technology affordable and accessible and it has introduced groundbreaking emerging technologies to do so. The company has plans to launch its advanced prosthetic hand later this year for about $10,000.
The robotic hands and arm prostheses are made with a 3D Printing process called MultiJet Fusion (MJF) that is able to match skin tone as well as include any personal variations in coloring that may exist, such as freckles or birthmarks.
The fingernails are magnetic and can be painted or decorated in a number of ways as well. This is especially important for children who are concerned about looking like and being able to live like their friends and siblings.
Since each of the company’s devices is made from a high-resolution digital scan, it typically fits better than standard prosthetics. Not only does Unlimited Tomorrow focus on aesthetics; it also takes suggestions from users to refine the function of prosthetics.
Scaling for functionality
Functionality and usefulness are critical for a robotic prosthetic to meet the challenges of everyday living. You can also imagine what an amputee or someone born without a limb must go through day after day, If you can imagine suddenly not having the ability to use one of your hands.
Control of the motion system is done through unique muscle sensors that the company has developed. Muscle data is processed using AI algorithms to decode the user’s intent and then translate this data into hand motions. Haptic feedback is incorporated into the device to allow a sense of touch to be perceived, creating a human-like feedback loop.