The Open Hand Project, created by Joel Gibbard from Bristol, UK, emerged out of his academic research at the University of Plymouth. His goal was to design a highly articulate robotic prosthetic hand that could be controlled as naturally and intuitively as possible.
The Project’s current focus is on the latest iterations of the “Dextrus” prosthetic robotic hand that came out of this research. This project is currently pursuing crowdfunding as an alternative to venture capital.
Open Hand Project
From the Dextrus project site:
The Dextrus hand works much like a human hand. 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.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit — and today we will be sharing about Make The World: Prosthetics, a one month program on Google+ aimed at crowdsourcing the manufacturing and delivery of printed prosthetics to people in need, hosted by Adafruit’s Limor Fried, Matt Griffin and Phillip Torrone. Key partners on the program include Robohand, MakerBot, The Open Hand Project, Anthromod, Prosthetics for Prosperity, eNABLE, The Lucky Fin Project and Hands for Africa.
Adafruit’s Makers, Hackers, Artists and Engineers Community under the subsection “Make The World” is hosting this month long effort. Community members will post up with what they can help with, suggest people in need, and post pictures of their accomplishments/builds. In addition Makers will be able to find support for the creation of Robohands in the eNABLE Community on Google+.