Ever thought of an affordable bionic arm? Or exoskeletons and bionic eyes and Parkinson’s gloves, etc.? Do they sound futuristic or more bizarrely filmy? Well, while the eyes and gloves are surely futuristic goals for Hyderabad-based start-up Makers Hive, the bionic arm is already a reality. The founders of Makers Hive, Harsha Reddy Ponguleti, Pranav Vempati, and Suren Marumamula, chanced upon some rather disturbing statistics that made them decide to help those who are in need of such prosthetics.
Apparently, according to them, in 2017, about 57.7 million people were living with limb amputation across the world. Globally, they say a patient’s hand is amputated every minute. They say as per their research, there are at least 50,000 to 1,00,000 amputees in each state.
Moreover, they were inspired by the late president of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and that pushed them to come up with their bionic arm called Kalarm after Abdul Kalam. Their arm costs one-tenth of the bionic arms available in the market today.
While such arms cost around Rs 30 to 60 lakhs, their’s is totally cost-effective and even customizable. Kalam has 18 pre-defined grips to help amputees perform tasks easily. They can also add six custom grips to Kalassist mobile app. It has unique features like wireless firmware updates and performance monitoring on the mobile application.
As they say, all this did not happen overnight. It took the threesome to struggle for three years to have a firm foothold. The main hurdle was to get like-minded engineers and other professionals who saw their vision and contribute to the same. Then they had to streamline the supply chain during corona times and keep things moving.
When the bionic arm was first announced at BIRRD Hospital in Tirupati, loads of pre-orders were placed. The orders are only increasing by the day, say the threesome who intend to come up with Parkinson’s gloves and bionic eyes in the future. Being an R&D start-up, their work is constant and continues to evolve, share the three entrepreneurs.