ARM / Arm Prosthesis Race
About the Team
"The true purpose of our research and development is to make a difference in a person's life, not money. And that is what drives and motivates us." says Riaan Stopforth, Touch Hand's director. The South African team has been specializing in low-cost arm prostheses since 2013 to make them affordable for low-income households and countries while still incorporating advanced technologies. At CYBATHLON they will start with an improved version of the 4th prototype. "As a team we go through ups and downs together, we focus on practical solutions that work. CYBATHLON is a good opportunity for us to compare, a benchmark to see where we stand, but we are also happy to celebrate the event and our work." Riaan continues, and at the same time expresses his gratefulness and affection to the pilots: "The pilots encounter many barriers, many of which we don't even notice. I think we often think that we understand what they go through every day, but that's not the case! Our team is lucky to have pilots like ours who are willing to test our product and give us valuable feedback."
About the Pilot
Lungile Kenneth Dick has a dream: "I want to build my own business, one that puts a smile on the face of disabled people. A place where there is room for them and where they are appreciated.". Some 15 years ago, he had lost his hand in an accident at work: "Employee safety was neglected and production was given priority. Fortunately, this is not the case at my current job at VW. Here, even with my impairment, I am completely integrated and appreciated". The South African still faces discrimination, he believes that in some areas, especially gender and disability, it has become a habit: “many have never had time to deal with it or to free themselves from this way of thinking. Again and again I feel exploited or emotionally humiliated, that's why I grew myself a thick skin. Despite everything, I keep believing in myself and have remained an open person.” How people should live together, Lungile experiences in the Team TouchHand: “We work together respectfully and empathically. It’s incredible to see the joy with which everyone is working on the project. I hope that in the future, when the prosthesis is further developed, it will reduce my physical handicap and help others in developing countries".
About the Device
Touch Prosthetics seeks to propel the prosthetics field forward and make its technology more accessible to the general public. This will be achieved by producing low-cost, modular, advanced prosthetics with the aid of advanced 3D printing. Touch Hand allows for simple and easy operations using advanced control features. The modular design will ensure that repairing the touch hand is simple and affordable to repair.