ABRISTOL engineer with a passion for robotics has come up with a cheaper way to make new hands for people who've lost theirs. After ploughing all his savings into setting up the
It uses electric motors to replicate muscles and steel cables to replicate 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.
He said: Current prosthetic hands can cost anywhere from Pounds 7,000 to Pounds 20,000, and then have to be custom fit at specialist consultations, which means costs can soar. Someone could probably expect to pay up to Pounds 70,000 to get one of the current models fitted.
The Dextrus hand is an alternative to that because it makes use of emerging technologies like 3D printing and great free software tools.
IN HIS OWN WORDS ? Why design a low-cost prosthetic hand? I've always been into robotics from an early age, playing with Lego technic growing up. From a robotics perspective, I've just always been fascinated by the intricacy and dexterity of the human hand. When it came to this project I just felt that prosthetics was a very constructive outlet for my passion. The money would be in military applications or industrial robots but I'm not really in it for that, I just love robotics. ? Why will it be cheaper than existing models? One of the most expensive aspects of leading robotic prosthetic hands is the materials used to create them. Titanium and carbon fibre enable these devices to be used all day and not wear out after a few months, but when designing on a budget these luxuries aren't available. ABS plastic will be used to create the majority of the parts in the Dextrus hand. That's the same tough, durable material that Lego is made from.
ABRISTOL engineer with a passion for robotics has come up with a cheaper way to make new hands for people who've lost theirs.
After ploughing all his savings into setting up the