Indian engineers build low cost 3D-Printed robotic hand that is lighter, more efficient
As 3D-printing technology is achieving more perfection, the day isn’t far when amputees would be able to regain their mobility as well as functionality through brain-controlled complex prosthetic exactly like real limbs. A team of Indian engineers claims to have invented a 3D-Printed prosthetic hand that is way far efficient and affordable than currently available prosthetic in the market. The team from the Amrita University in India showcased its innovation at the tree-day International Robotics and Automation for Humanitarian Application (RAHA 2016) at Amrita University in Kollam, Kerala in India.
As per the report, the robotic hand can also perform complex tasks such as writing with a pen or using a phone. The hand is made from plastic and nickel to reduce weight and has flexible fingers equipped with servo motors that can lift upto 400 grams of weight. As compared to other such robotic prosthetic, this one is being claimed cheaper, lighter, and more efficient.
It’s a novel underactuated hand, made using rubber and nickel. Lab tests of the hand showed better potential compared to other prosthetic hands available, in terms of load carrying capacity, durability and strength. The technology has the potential for a wider application besides being used for prosthetic limbs,
said Dr Ganesha Udupa, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amrita University, Kollam, Kerala.
Powered by a 12V rechargeable battery, the robotic hand uses myoelectric sensors for control. But it can also be commanded via body movements. The fingers and the thumb use pulleys and strings and the hand derive its power from low eight servo motors. Included sensors detect body movement as signal that is converted into programmed physical movement.
It is activated by myoelectric or electromyogram (EMG) signals acquired using suitable sensors from the human body, a technology already widely used in actuating prosthetic devices. Servomotors coupled with pulleys and strings are used for actuation of fingers, making it possible to execute functions of a human hand,
Moreover, the researchers conclude that large number of handicaps do not use their prosthetic limbs regularly because they are bulky and offer only basic functionality.
About 50 per cent handicaps do not use their prosthetics regularly, due to its heavy weight and low functionality,
Dr Udapa said. Cost is another deterring factor in case of most advanced robotic hands.
At the conferences the researchers also demanded that the Indian government must form solid national policy on robotics to promote its research and funding for humanitarian and strategic applications.
A national policy on robotics for its R&D and funding to promote robotics technology is crucial, particularly in the wake of the rising cross border terrorism,
said Vijay Bhatkar, the architect of India’s first supercomputer, C-DAC founder executive director of the national science and engineering research board (SERB) chairman.
Via: DNA India