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Thursday, August 27, 2015

3D-printed robotic hand wins 2015 UK James Dyson Award


A 3D-printed bionic hand designed byprosthetics startup Open Bionics is the recipient of the 2015 UK James Dyson Award for design engineering innovation.
The Open Bionics hand is designed to be cheaper and faster to produce than many of the prosthetics currently available for amputees, which can cost between £3,000 and £60,000.
Taking just 40 hours to 3D-print, the robotic hand is built from custom pieces designed to fit amputees' limbs precisely.
Wearers can be fitted with the bionic hand less than two days after being scanned – a stark contrast with many other options which can take weeks or months.
The hand is printed in four lightweight parts, made from flexible plastic material that makes it more resistant to damage incurred by falls or through daily use.
Electromyographic sensors – which detect muscle movement – are attached to the skin and used to control the hand by flexing their muscles, wearers can choose whether to open and close the hand or grip objects.
The hand's "smart" fingers have also been designed to sense when they are in contact with an object to prevent wearers from accidentally crushing objects they're holding.
The designer intends to add new components that will further replicate the structure of a biological hand by mimicking bones and ligaments.
Open Bionics intends to make the hands available for purchase by the second half of 2016 for less than £1,000. The hand will also be open source to encourage users to customise and share their own designs.