Limbitless Solutions Inc. announced today a new collaboration with computer software giant Adobe.
Over the past six years, Limbitless has created beautifully designed and functional bionic arms for children with limb difference. The non-profit, based at the University of Central Florida, blends art and technology to create the arms. Much of the creative design work is achieved using Adobe products. Limbitless also uses Adobe products to create apps that gamify the learning process and help recipients learn how to use their new limbs.
As part of the collaboration, Adobe is offering free Creative Cloud product licenses and training to Limbitless team members, which enables Limbitless to continue its mission of empowering the limb difference community by boosting their confidence and self-worth, all at no cost to their families.
Adobe is committing a $100,000 grant to support plans for expanding the Limbitless Lab at UCF. With the commitment from Adobe and other key partners, the new lab will expand the program’s ability to scale production for more bionic arms for children, increase research activity with additional hospital partners, increase facilities to train college students in STEAM education, and advance the interdisciplinary student research program that results in innovative solutions for real world problems. This new lab will also help Limbitless seek FDA approval, which will aid in their goal of having the limbs covered by insurance without financial burden for the families.
“At Adobe, we believe that everyone is creative and has a story to tell,” says John Travis, vice president of Adobe Brand Marketing. “We are so proud to work with Limbitless to help children with limb differences feel empowered to create their future and tell their stories, because those stories deserve to be heard. We hope that through our collaboration, Limbitless can continue to use creativity in exciting new ways to champion accessibility and transform lives.”
“Limbitless’ focus is not only on the technology, such as our bionic arms, but the children using the technology, their families, and their lives,” says Limbitless Solutions’ designer Mrudula Peddinti ’18, who leads user interface and experience. “Creative storytelling and the user interface go beyond scientific data and statistics about a device. It adds emotional impact and the humanity behind the prosthetic. Our role is to both develop and provide accessible technology, and also utilize the power of visuals to amplify our bionic kids’ and families’ voices and stories to build awareness throughout the rest of the community.”
Matt Dombrowski ’05 ’08MFA and Peter Smith, ’05MS ’12PhD, both associate professors at the UCF School of Visual Arts & Design, have been working with Limbitless for several years making sure that the technology is accessible but also visually appealing and engaging.
Students from a variety of majors communicate their creativity using a variety of Adobe products from Adobe Photoshop to Premiere Pro. Videos on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are particularly effective in communicating the Limbitless mission and advocating for inclusivity.
“The idea is to blur the lines among disciplines and show students how to work at the intersection of art and engineering,” says Dombrowski. “We believe creativity is an essential skill for everyone — which is why Adobe Creative Cloud is embedded in everything we do.”
The team’s work aligns with Adobe’s vision of using technology to create change in the world and was featured on stage by the company’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen, at the Adobe MAX Creativity Conference in 2019. With a focus on digital storytelling, Adobe is continuing to share Limbitless’ story to help build advocacy for accessibility and promote a more inclusive future for children with limb difference.
About Limbitless Solutions
Limbitless Solutions is a non-profit and UCF direct support organization dedicated to empowering children in the limb difference community. Limbitless creates personalized, creative, and expressive 3D-printed bionic arms currently in clinical trials. The organization was founded in 2014 by then UCF students with the belief that no family should be financially burdened because their child has a limb difference.
Limbitless Solutions’ main projects — Bionic Arms, Project Xavier, and Bionic Training Video Games — all center around empowering confidence in the lives of individuals. Based at the University of Central Florida main campus in Orlando, Florida, Limbitless Solutions provides undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in the research lab to expand their research skill and professional development.
Written by Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala for UCF Today.