The Open Hand Project is an open source project with the goal of making robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees. The Dextrus hand is the realization of this goal. Launched by Bristol, UK based Joel Gibbard, it is a robotic hand that offers much of the functionality of a human hand in a very low cost.
"The Dextrus hand is for anyone who wants an advanced robotic hand." writes Gibbard.
It uses electric motors instead of muscles and steel cables instead of tendons. 3D printed plastic parts work like bones and a rubber coating acts as the skin. All of these parts are controlled by electronics to give it a natural movement that can handle all sorts of different objects.
The hand can be connected to an existing prosthesis using a standard connector to give an amputee another option. It uses stick-on electrodes to read signals from their remaining muscles, which can control the hand, telling it to open or close.
The fingers are individually powered and each one can sense when an object is impeding its movement. This gives it the ability to grasp objects gently and means the fingers can really wrap around unusual shapes to grip them firmly.
To build and test the Dextrus hand, Gibbard has been working with Chef Liam Corbett who lost his hand to meningitis two years ago. Corbett says the Dextrus hand enables him to do more finer things in life than the hook he used previously.
The Dextrus hand can be put together for well under £650 ($1000), says Gibbard. At the moment a full working prototype of the dextrus hand has been built. The next things to do will be building everything onto printed circuit boards, refining design of the hand.
To get more support for further developing this affordable prosthetic, Gibbard launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. A standard version of Dextrus hand costs £650, which comes ready to use. For £700 you will receive the prosthetic version of Dextrus, which includes battery pack, charger, EMG board and 100 electrodes.
Gibbard is seeking £39,000 in funding which will support the project for an entire year. After all of the designing and testing has been complete, Gibbard will upload all of the designs and code to the internet for anyone to use and build on.
Check out more info about this project and support Gibbard here on indiegogo.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Trudy Richardson wrote at 9/10/2013 4:34:19 PM:
Wow! I'll have a left one! Please:-)
Bogdan wrote at 9/5/2013 11:27:53 PM:
This is a fantastic idea!