The $300 Prosthetic Arm

Nearly 80% of the world’s 25 million or so amputees live in developing countries. For most of them buying a prosthetic limb is luxury they will never be able to afford. IPT, a non-profit start-up founded in 2010 by University of Illinois engineering students, hopes to change that with the Open Socket: an affordable prosthesis that doesn’t need to be custom-made or fitted.

Speaking to CNN Money, Adam Booher, IPT’s president, said the Open Socket is “designed to be taken out of the box, or off the shelf and fit to someone in less that 20 minutes.” 

Made primarily from rigid plastics and flexible cloth, the Open Socket is designed to be easily adjustable and fit a wide number of amputee cases. The goal is to offer an alternative to having to buy a custom-made prosthesis. IPT is working to get the cost below $300 so organizations around the world can help a larger number of people. 

“The key for us will be partnering with aid organizations to get it out there and in the hands of people who can use it,” said Booher. 

The above clip shows the IPT team developing the Open Socket in Guatemala. Head to to learn more. 


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