Industrial Designers always seem to be tackling the issue of prosthetic limbs, there is good reason to. It is estimated that in the United States, there are approximately 1.7 million people living with limb loss. The difficulty in replicating the functions of the human arm and hand lay in the complex machinery required. Kaylene Kau, a recent graduate of the University of Washington for Industrial Design, came up with this concept. Unlike conventional concepts, this one is essentially a tentacle-like arm that allows for dexterity and grip.
The radical approach allows for less motors and machinery to occupy the space within the arm. This translates to less parts, cheaper to produce and easier to maintain. The tentacle arm approach allows someone to grip multiple objects just like a real hand would. However, I am skeptical about how finer, more tactile operations such as using a pencil or picking up a small object could happen.
The solution to control the arm unit is simplified here but with further refinement such a concept could work. It is great to see that there are design solutions that can extend so far from conventional approaches. The organic form, not human, is a beautiful contrast to the Darth Vader like arms that are on the market already.
Now a Junior Designer at electronic goods design company IPEVO, Kaylene has switched product fields entirely. However we hope to see this concept come to life or at least some iteration of it at Comic Con.
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