Carlos Arturo Torres is making headlines for combining functionality with fun, when it comes to designing prosthetics for children.
The attachments work by utilising a socket with motion-reading sensors and a battery. The “muscle” component reacts to motion signals and transmits the movement to the prosthetic hand which in turn allows the wearer to manipulate the ‘hand’ whichever way he or she chooses.
When Torres decided to experiment with prosthetics he was made aware of the stigmatism attached to the current designs, especially directed at children – by other children.
He wanted to change this, and so, he went about designing fun and practical attachments that would increase the happiness of the wearer, whilst still maintaining a sense of agency.
The designer transported his design to Bogota, Columbia, for a boy named Dario to try. His attachments included a laser-gun equipped space ship, a tractor complete with digger attachment and variations on the ‘gripping hand’.
“What if kids could use their imagination to create their own tools according to their own needs?” Torres says on his website. “Disabled kids’ needs are not always related to physical activity but often alternatively the social and psychological aspect; what if kids could make their own prosthetics and have fun at the same time? Learning. Creating. Being kids.”