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Argentine Woman Wears First Bionic Arm Developed in Latin America

by on January 26, 2015

A woman from Argentina is wearing the first bionic arm developed in Latin America. Stella Azambullo suffered with limited dexterity for years after losing her right arm in an industrial accident.

Ms. Azambullo is now wearing a bionic arm with which she could set her table, pour coffee for herself, while holding a cup in it; she could sow, write and perform a wide variety of other household tasks that she couldn’t do with the bionic arm.

The arm itself looks like a claw and has a thumb, index and middle finger. It is covered in a skin-like glove, so it matches her left arm. She operates the bionic arm by moving her upper-arm muscles.

Each time her muscles contract, her body’s chemical reaction sends a small electrical signal to the arm, instructing it to open and close.

The bionic arm comes equipped with rechargeable batteries, superficial sensors that detect her muscular activity, and a coupling socket that attaches the bionic arm to the stump of her upper arm (this avoids the needs to use a harness or a strap). The bionic arm can be turned and moved freely, and it comes in standard sizes that can fit in cosmetic gloves.

The arm was built by Bioparx, an Argentine firm that specializes in developing devices that can improve healthcare. Its aim is to build a more cost effective bionic arm. This bionic arm will sell for $22,000 while the average cost for similar bionic arms is $47,000.