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According to a report from India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2.21% of the country’s population lives with a disability. Of that population, 20% have a disability of movement, and most live in rural areas. The highest rate of amputation occurs in these rural settings, where the main employment is in agriculture and construction. Prosthetics are typically imported from overseas and can cost more than six times the average monthly income of a rural Indian family.

After researching existing solutions, Social Hardware cofounders Kumar and Cameron Norris saw a need for a new approach to upper-limb prosthesis design. The pair met through the online community Reddit, where they contributed to an open-source prosthesis project to help a fellow user with a disability. Kumar came from a biomedical and robotics background; Norris worked in the UK startup world.