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Sunday, April 18, 2021

College dropout Prashant Gade develops a cost-efficient prosthetic arm that uses brain signals

Over 700 arms have been manufactured and given away for free in the last two years, with approximately 300 sold around the world.

Prashant Gade develops a cost-efficient prosthetic arm that uses brain signals. Read below.

Prashant Gade in 2014 started an initiative that is helping thousands of lives. He has supported over 3,500 individuals with prosthetic arms as the founder of the Inali Foundation.

He had always wanted to be an engineer and build groundbreaking devices with a social impact, so when he enrolled in an electronics engineering course, it was a dream come true; but, in his final year, he dropped out and was disappointed as his grades went down.

Prashant met a seven-year-old girl who was born without arms in Pune, and she moved him so much that he wanted to give her two prosthetic arms.

He consulted for this quoted a price of 24 lakhs for both arms; so she would need new arms every two years, and it was difficult to afford it.

Also Read: Innovation at its best: ISRO engineer turns old car into mini-excavator

Prashant Gade develops a cost-efficient prosthetic arm

Image: Inali Foundation/Instagram

Prashant started developing a low-cost semi-bionic arm, at the age of 23, which evolved into Inali Arm over a few years.

Inali is the name he gave to his creation after his girlfriend’s name, whom he admires for sticking by him through thick and thin.

He faced various obstacles, including his family started ignoring him and refused to speak to him because they were dissatisfied with his decision to leave his job and devote his full time to Inali Arm.

The other major issue was affordability, but he was from on his decision and never gave up: it took almost two years to come up with a cost-effective approach because he had to build circuits to keep costs down.

His concept sparked the interest of Jaipur Foot’s technical secretary, who promptly awarded him a seed grant to build seven such hands.

Prashant took a picture of the check and emailed it to his dad, who said he valued his decision and that he was off to Jaipur for some real-world experience.

When living there, he had to deal with several difficulties, including housing, lodging, transport, and other expenses; at times, he had to choose accommodation over meals or feed just once a day.

Inali Arms

Image: Inali Foundation/Instagram

Inali arms have the strength to pick up over 10 kg of weight at a time and last for more than three years.

Over 700 arms have been manufactured and given away for free in the last two years, with approximately 300 sold around the world.

His invention was finally admired by his inspiration Nicholas Huchet, which was a significant turning point in his journey.

Soldiers in the armed forces who have lost arms in conflicts and wars can use the prosthetic arm he created.

He aims to create a myoelectric upper limb prosthetic arm that can execute sharp finger motions like a real arm.

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