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Tilly Lockey Receives Bionic Arms made in Collaboration with the Production Team of Alita: Battle Angel

Posted February 28, 2019

British teen Tilly Lockey, 13, contracted menigococal septicemia at just 15 months of age which resulted in her losing both of her arms.

Luckily, strong-willed and resourceful, Lockey had no plans of giving up. In 2016, she started collaborating with Open Bionics – a UK-based company developing low-cost bionic arms – to provide feedback on various designs in hopes of formulating a pair of advanced, yet inexpensive prosthetics for fellow amputees.

As Lockey develops, she requires replacement prosthetics to match the shape of her growing body. This time, however, she was in for a big surprise – the film director James Cameron, working in collaboration with the production team of Alita: Battle Angel and Open Bionics, created a fully-functional bespoke set of bionic arms, similar to those seen in the movie, just for her.

“When this got sprung up on me, I was just completely overwhelmed and just shocked, but I’m so grateful and lucky to be here, and I want to thank everyone who’s involved,” said Lockey who was invited to the premiere of the film.

Tilly Lockey posing at the premiere of Alita: Battle Angel. Image: YouTube.

The arms provide a level of functionality that allows Lockey to not only perform the most basic of functions, but to also engage in more precise movements, such those required for applying make-up, as well as pursue her artistic side by painting.

According to Cameron, this is about more than just making a surprise gift for one child, though, as it won‘t just be Tilly who will benefit from the partnership: “… we’ve also helped to develop affordable Alita-inspired prosthetic arm covers that will soon be made available for all amputees”.

Once released to the market, the design will be called Hero Arm and, according to the website of Open Bionics, will be “the world’s first clinically approved 3D-printed bionic arm, with multi-grip functionality and empowering aesthetics”.

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