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Company creates affordable prosthetic with realistic movement

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be born without an arm or to lose one in a serious accident. If you're like a lot of our West Caldwell readers, you might see life a little more challenging. That's because we use our arms for many things from brushing our teeth to doing our jobs. Even the absence of one arm could mean difficulty doing everyday tasks or doing a majority of jobs.

But scientists with a Japanese company called Exii believe they have a solution for this issue. Their new product utilizes a plethora of new technology that not only helps to make their product incredibly useful but affordable as well.

Exii's new product is a bionic arm that is crafted using 3D printers. Using a smartphone and strategically positioned sensors, the arm detects muscle and nerve movement then translates it into movement for the arm. The arm is able to open and close around objects much as a real hand would. Even more astounding is the fact that the fingers on the bionic arm can be exchanged for other tools.

A lot of the technological advances that have been made over the last decade have greatly improved the lives of people with disabilities by allowing them to navigate their world a little easier. As we have said before on this blog though, many of these advancements have also come with steep price tags, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Thankfully, the bionic arm from Exii is slated to cost a mere $300 once the company decides to expand to the consumer market.

Even though this particular device does have a reasonable price tag, a person with a physical disability may still need disability benefits to help cover the cost. Applying for benefits can be a challenge in and of itself though, which is why you may want to talk to a lawyer first to get advice about what to expect from the process in order to make sure that your application is the best it can be.

Source: Tech Crunch, "This Amazingly Limber Bionic Arm Connects To Your Smartphone," John Biggs, March 23, 2015

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