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Prosthetics get personal

To industrial designer Scott Summit, standard prosthetic limbs fall short of conveying their amputee's spirit.
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Written by Audrey Quinn on

Somehow, just about anyone wearing a prosthetic limb looks like a badass. For one, they've obviously survived some pretty serious trials, and secondly, they're way closer to being Terminator than the rest of us could even dream of.

To industrial designer Scott Summit, standard prosthetic limbs fall short of conveying their amputee's spirit.

Lee Romney explains in the LA Times:

Modern prosthetic engineering — cutting-edge suspension hardware on titanium rods and carbon graphite sprinting legs — has done wonders for utility but little to reference the human form. And to some amputees, attempts to mimic the real thing — flesh-toned silicone limbs, complete with fake veins — just don't seem right.

Summit has set out to create personalized prosthetics through his company Bespoke Innovations.

He's collaborated with actress, model, and Paralympic record-setter Aimee Mullins. Mullins has long been an advocate for more artful prosthetics.

In the LA Times article she explains:

"A prosthetic limb doesn't represent the need to replace loss anymore. It can stand as a symbol that the wearer has the power to create whatever it is that they want to create in that space."

Summit's prosthetics follow the mirrored form of the remaining limb, or a believable stand-in, in the case of double amputees. They're made out of durable nylon, then covered in patterns, textures, and graphics of the wearer's choosing.

Summit told the LA Times he's on track to produce hundreds of the $4000-$6000 prosthetics annually by next year, and a growing number of VA hospitals are offering his designs for injured war veterans.

[via The LA Times]

Images: Bespoke Innovations

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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