An electronically controlled 3D printed prosthetic hand is on the way
Lots of companies and firms are putting effort into the development of 3D printed prosthetic limbs. These devices are no less than a wonder for people with birth defects or with more amputees. Most of the 3D printed prosthetic hands are manually controlled by the user, however in most cases they are not able to provide ample efficiency to the user due limited wrist mobility. Addressing this issue, Italian company Youbionic is on the verge of developing an electronically controlled, bionic 3D printed prosthetic hand.
The basic idea is to create a 3D printed prosthetic hand that can be electronically controlled based on muscle movements. Also to build a hand at a much lower cost than the commercial products in the market right now. According to YouBionic’s designer Federico Ciccarese the hand will be controlled by low-cost Arduino microcontrollers and servomotors. A prototype has been created in nylon using selective laser sintering and the company is working on building the YouBionic hand using FDM 3D printers.
YouBionic is trying to eliminate the need for assembly by printing the hand in one single 3D printed piece by implementing an innovative mechanical system. By detecting the electronic pulses in the surrounding muscles, the muscle sensors allows the user to use his prosthetic hand in a similar way as one would control his/her real hand. Therefore, Youbionic hand can respond in an appropriate manner by receiving information from the sensors which detects the intended movement.
As we know most of the prosthetic hands comes with a hefty price range which is almost impossible for a common man to afford. However, YouBionic is claiming that their electronic 3D printed bionic prosthetic hand will come with an affordable price, so that more and more handicap people can get benefit from it. If everything works accordingly, we will see Youbionic Hand in the market by 2015.