Losing a hand can have a devastating on a person’s independence and quality of life. A functional prosthesis can be an expensive proposition, however. A group of researchers and technology enthusiasts from Yale University and Cornell University in the U.S. and from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece have banded together to create open source designs for robotic hands.
The project is called OpenBionics, and they have created a simple robotic hand that can be built for less than $100 using off-the-shelf materials and components. Even more exciting is their new design for an anthropomorphic robot hand. With five fingers including an opposable thumb, the design can be built for less than $200. The hand can be easily adjusted to “lock” any of the four fingers, and the thumb can be positioned at different angles as required by the intended task.
The files for the design can be downloaded for free from the group’s website. Group projects for the general benefit of the community are inspiring, and could have a major impact on people’s lives going forward.