Open Source Bionic Hands - Open Bionics

Millions of amputees worldwide live with the loss of a limb, especially in developing countries that don’t often have access to expensive prosthetics. The most common is hand or arm loss. Robotic prosthetics are cripplingly expensive (e.g., well over $75,000), clunky and heavy, and can take months to obtain – especially for families of children, who need to be refitted as they grow. Inspired by six-year-old Charlotte, who lost all her limbs to meningitis, robotics graduate Joel Gibbard wanted to make an affordable and desirable-hand. The wearer is scanned for a custom-fit hand and socket, which are 3D printed with a flexible LEGO-like material that replicates bones, ligaments and skin. Sensors attached to the wearer’s skin then pick up muscle movements so that fingers can carry out complex tasks. Consisting of only four manufactured parts, it is thanks to 3D printing that the hand can sell for around $2,700, which is dramatically cheaper than other bionic arms.

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