Watch: Spider-Man bionic arms developed with Marvel and Disney given to children

Custom-made Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey Spider-Man bionic arms have given two children a new level of independence.
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Two British children born with partial limbs are the first to be fitted with Spider-Man bionic prosthetics developed with help from Marvel and Disney

Kaden Taylor and Safiyyah Uddin are now able to perform everyday tasks with their specially designed, 3D-printed prosthetics, designed to emulate their favourite superheroes.

The custom-made Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey Spider-Man bionic arms - developed by robotics company Open Bionics - feature myoelectric sensors which detect muscular contractions generated from muscle groups in the arm.

Safiyyah, from East London, had always longed to become more independent and perform activities with both hands.

The eight-year-old, who was born with her arm missing below the elbow, is ecstatic with her pink Hero Arm - which matches taht of her favourite character, Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Woman.

Safiyyah said: “Sometimes it’s hard holding two books with one hand, and sometimes I drop things.

"I wanted a Hero Arm so I can hold things with both hands."

When Safiyyah first saw her Hero Arm with its Gwen Stacy design, she immediately identified the stencil of her favourite character.

“I love the design, and that you can see the Spider-Man logo and Gwen on the side," she said.

Safiyyah Uddin and her Spider-Woman bionic prosthetic.Safiyyah Uddin and her Spider-Woman bionic prosthetic.
Safiyyah Uddin and her Spider-Woman bionic prosthetic.

The first thing Safiyyah did with her new arm was to go for a bike ride, saying she loved how her arm matched the colours on her bike.

Asked what she uses the Hero Arm for at school, Safiyyah excitedly said: “I use it for lots of things: taking my pencils out, my books, carrying my bag and I play cello with it."

The intelligent Hero Arm works by using myoelectric sensors to detect underlying muscular contractions generated from specific muscle groups in the arm.

These muscle contractions are read via sensors on the skin and are then amplified and converted to intuitive bionic hand movements.

Kaden Taylor and his Spider-Man bionic prosthetic.Kaden Taylor and his Spider-Man bionic prosthetic.
Kaden Taylor and his Spider-Man bionic prosthetic.

Kaden Taylor was similarly born with part of his hand missing.

Mum Colette Taylor said: “Kaden has never worn any prosthetics... we’ve always offered him options and he always refused, but when I showed him the Hero Arm, he shouted: 'Yes please!'"

After inspecting his new prosthetic for the first time, little Kaden exclaimed: “The design is very artistic… I can’t believe I’m the first person in the world to get this!"

As well as the colourful aesthetic based on his favourite superhero, Kaden can now perform two-handed activities with newfound confidence.

“At the moment when he rides his bike, he falls off quite a bit, gets scratches and bruises," Ms Taylor added. "Having a Hero Arm will make a big difference in things he can do."

Within an hour of being fitted with his new Hero Arm, Kaden was able to enjoy his lunch with both hands, open a packet of crisps, pick up fruit and enjoy a smoothie.

Samantha Payne, co-founder of Open Bionics, said: “We’ve been working with Disney and Marvel for close to a year to create three Spider-Man looks, and we are all beyond excited to see them brought to life by the cool kids Safiyyah and Kaden.

"We are now on the lookout for our Miles Morales.

"If you know a super-fan with a below-elbow limb difference, we want to speak with them."

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