Published on October 19th, 2016 | by Geetika Bhasin
Tilly Lockey, a meningitis sufferer, tests prosthetic arms for Open Bionics
3D printing has served as a boon in the lives of many people. Anias and Jadon McDonald, the conjoined twins, got a new lease on life thanks to 3D printing and scanning services. Tilly Lockey is an 11-year old British girl who has received a 3D printed prosthetic arm from the 3D printing pioneer Open Bionics. She lost both her arms to meningitis when she was a baby. Her 3D printed arms are inspired by the video game Dues Ex Video game, and it can even give a thumbs up.
The 11-year child is an active participant in the manufacturing of the prosthetics. She tests the arms, gives her feedback, and even travels around the world to raise awareness about the bionics. Sarah, Tilly’s mom travels along with her. She herself has been a fundraiser for meningitis. Tilly is determined to develop the most advanced form of prosthetics to give the perfect set of limbs so that everyone can live a normal and active life.
Tilly developed Group B meningococcal septicemia – meningitis at 15 months. She lost her hands, toes, and will suffer stunted growth throughout her life. Her teeth too were lost. The Lockey family became very aggressive in spreading awareness and raising funds for meningitis. It was then that they came in touch with Open Bionics. This startup was founded in 2013 by Joel Gibbard with an aim of developing a low-cost prosthetics using 3D printing. The robotics graduate from Plymouth University started the venture in his bedroom. He found crowdfunding success for his 3D printing project and received aids from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. Open Bionics has recently won the UK James Dyson Award and will come out with a new product sometime next year. They have managed to fulfill Tilly’s fancy of heroes and superheroes while developing the prosthetic arm.