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3D Printed Prosthetic Arm Wins President’s Cup

At the 2016 Florida Tech Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase, a team of computer, mechanical and biomedical engineering students presented a low-cost 3D printed prosthetic arm.

Their project, called PriMA Prosthetics, provides touch-sensing capabilities for patients along with heating and cooling of the residual limb to prevent sweating and sores during high or low temperature environments. The arm is operated on myoelectric EMG signals from the bicep, and the hand can firmly hold about 50 lbs. It is also is the first one in market history to provide touch-sensing capabilities that allow the user to determine the strength necessary to pick up or hold an object. It also can be produced at an affordable pricing point of just $1,500, which can save patients thousands of dollars over their lifetime use.

Each arm comes equipped with an android app, which allows the user to easily toggle through and select gestures suitable for their work environment and file maintenance request when necessary. 

Mechanical engineering senior Doug Brown said his team’s project is essential to the improvement of life for people who are struggling with limb amputations or birth defects. The arm has the ability to drastically undercut the market by providing one of the cheapest arms out there, coupled with some of the highest functionality one can find.

The team was inspired to pursue such an advanced prosthetic because of the deprivation of life seen in the patients of the market they analyzed. The average prosthetic arm with decent functionality starts at $50,000.

“Most insurance companies won’t cover the annual purchase or renovations of prosthetics at this price tag, forcing the financing onto the patient,” Brown said. “For instance, if you’re a middle or lower class family with a child affected with limb deficiencies, it would cost on average between $750,000-$1M to raise said child to an adult age of 18.”

Market leader Ottobock profits $1.2 billion a year from prosthetic technologies. The team wanted to give an arm to the public that people could afford with or without insurance that not only provided the same mechanical functionality but higher comfort and user friendly environments. 

At $1,500, the average insurance company would only charge patients a $50 deductible a year to keep their prosthetics in proper maintenance, Brown said.  

According to Brown, the project was the definition of real world experience. It was a testament to see how much the team was capable of in a short 6-month time frame.

“We were all handed a project we knew literally nothing about and managed to put in enough work to make a difference,” Brown said. “Not to mention it forced us to experience in-depth hands-on experience with a variety of disciplines and mechanical systems.” 
Brown advises students to push themselves to the breaking point when it comes to whatever project they may be working on.

“For us as a team, we were able to achieve so much because we simply engulfed ourselves in information,” Brown said.  “To be honest, some of our most significant discoveries and breakthroughs happened at 3:30 in the morning after seven hours of constant work.”

Brown believes student design and research goes hand-in-hand with bookwork.

“The biggest mistake America ever made was taking away woodshop in high schools,” Brown said. “A student can learn all the formulas in the world through a book, but taking a design and bringing it to life with today’s machinery takes a completely different level of skills which can only be learned by hands-on experience.

Brown’s team’s hard work and dedication earned them the College of Engineering’s 2016 President’s Cup Award.

Source: https://ecurrent.fit.edu/blog/student-design/3d-printed-prosthetic-arm/

/ About us

Founded by Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov in February 2011 with the participation of leading Russian specialists in the field of neural interfaces, robotics, artificial organs and systems.

The main goals of the 2045 Initiative: the creation and realization of a new strategy for the development of humanity which meets global civilization challenges; the creation of optimale conditions promoting the spiritual enlightenment of humanity; and the realization of a new futuristic reality based on 5 principles: high spirituality, high culture, high ethics, high science and high technologies. 

The main science mega-project of the 2045 Initiative aims to create technologies enabling the transfer of a individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality. We devote particular attention to enabling the fullest possible dialogue between the world’s major spiritual traditions, science and society.

A large-scale transformation of humanity, comparable to some of the major spiritual and sci-tech revolutions in history, will require a new strategy. We believe this to be necessary to overcome existing crises, which threaten our planetary habitat and the continued existence of humanity as a species. With the 2045 Initiative, we hope to realize a new strategy for humanity's development, and in so doing, create a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future.

The "2045" team is working towards creating an international research center where leading scientists will be engaged in research and development in the fields of anthropomorphic robotics, living systems modeling and brain and consciousness modeling with the goal of transferring one’s individual consciousness to an artificial carrier and achieving cybernetic immortality.

An annual congress "The Global Future 2045" is organized by the Initiative to give platform for discussing mankind's evolutionary strategy based on technologies of cybernetic immortality as well as the possible impact of such technologies on global society, politics and economies of the future.


Future prospects of "2045" Initiative for society


The emergence and widespread use of affordable android "avatars" controlled by a "brain-computer" interface. Coupled with related technologies “avatars’ will give people a number of new features: ability to work in dangerous environments, perform rescue operations, travel in extreme situations etc.
Avatar components will be used in medicine for the rehabilitation of fully or partially disabled patients giving them prosthetic limbs or recover lost senses.


Creation of an autonomous life-support system for the human brain linked to a robot, ‘avatar’, will save people whose body is completely worn out or irreversibly damaged. Any patient with an intact brain will be able to return to a fully functioning  bodily life. Such technologies will  greatly enlarge  the possibility of hybrid bio-electronic devices, thus creating a new IT revolution and will make  all  kinds of superimpositions of electronic and biological systems possible.


Creation of a computer model of the brain and human consciousness  with the subsequent development of means to transfer individual consciousness  onto an artificial carrier. This development will profoundly change the world, it will not only give everyone the possibility of  cybernetic immortality but will also create a friendly artificial intelligence,  expand human capabilities  and provide opportunities for ordinary people to restore or modify their own brain multiple times.  The final result  at this stage can be a real revolution in the understanding of human nature that will completely change the human and technical prospects for humanity.


This is the time when substance-independent minds will receive new bodies with capacities far exceeding those of ordinary humans. A new era for humanity will arrive!  Changes will occur in all spheres of human activity – energy generation, transportation, politics, medicine, psychology, sciences, and so on.

Today it is hard to imagine a future when bodies consisting of nanorobots  will become affordable  and capable of taking any form. It is also hard to imagine body holograms featuring controlled matter. One thing is clear however:  humanity, for the first time in its history, will make a fully managed evolutionary transition and eventually become a new species. Moreover,  prerequisites for a large-scale  expansion into outer space will be created as well.


Key elements of the project in the future

• International social movement
• social network immortal.me
• charitable foundation "Global Future 2045" (Foundation 2045)
• scientific research centre "Immortality"
• business incubator
• University of "Immortality"
• annual award for contribution to the realization of  the project of "Immortality”.

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