Innovation for Independence

Finalist Updates #4: Bionic Hands - A robotic hand you can build within an hour

Publish date:
16/03/2016 - 12:52pm
Last updated:
16/03/2016 - 12:52pm

Recently we have released a detailed guide, instructions, diagrams, tutorials, and the code for our working robotic hands. This means any maker, researcher, or engineer can go to our website, download our robotic hand, and print their own at home for free. We have tried to make it extremely easy for makers to be able to build our robotic hands. The assembly time should take less than an hour and components are easy to source from our website. If you’re an engineer and want to be part of this project, we invite you to join us. Our detailed guide can be found on the maker website Instructables, where it was picked as their ‘featured’ maker project last week.

We are an open source company that uses a ‘Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License’. This means we openly share our research and development so that other researchers can benefit from our work, and take it forward in ways that we might not have. Any researcher who uses our robotic hands as a platform to develop prosthetic hands must then share their work with the community as part of the licence agreement.

This open sharing enables researchers to start from an advanced starting point which means they can push their research further. If every researcher shared their developments in this way innovation could happen much quicker. One of our key missions at Open Bionics is to drive innovation and advance the prosthetics industry.

We believe that developing openly will lead this innovation in the field of prosthetics. We have already seen our research and development used to advance this field. A group of engineers from the Royal Military College of Canada have used our developments to write an award-winning IEEE paper on EMG sensing in prosthetics. The engineers downloaded our 3D files and followed our instructions online to build their working robotic hand. They used this robotic hand to investigate prosthetic control. We have also seen a maker in the US team up with his friend, a quadruple amputee, to develop a 3D printable wrist. All of these developments are shared back with us so that we can review them and decide whether to implement their findings.  

This was a big release for Open Bionics. In the week since the developer forum opened we’ve had 109 makers, engineers, and amputees sign up to contribute to our research and development. We aim to prove to investors that our open source business model can add value to our company and the wider healthcare industry. We hope to show this by adopting research individual contributors have submitted to our forum. If you think there’s something we should consider in our developments, please get involved. Amputees are also active in our forum to post design challenges and provide feedback.


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