During last weekends Maker Faire Tokyo a new 3D printed artificial hand was presented, called Handie. While regular prosthetic hands can easily cost more than 10.000 dollars, Handie will only cost users 400 dollars. In addition, people can use it with the help of their smartphones – which will definitely be ‘handy’ for users of Handie.
The team of Handie has also found a way to make the prostethic hands repairable, because they created all components with a 3D printer. This enables users to modify and reproduce them easily. Another striking part of the project is the customized mechanism for finger flexing. The team has developed a three-joint finger, which is actuated by one motor that passively changes its trajectory depending on the shape of an object. They did this to reduce the number of motors. In the picture below you can see what the first prototype looks like.
The project very much appears to be something like a life work, because the team behind Handie has been working on it since college. They first focused on making a highly functional hand that can perform strong, precise and diverse motions, but after many researches the team realized this is not necessarily the first priority. Because the regular myoelectric prosthetic hands are so expensive a lot of people people don’t have the financial resources to buy them, so creating a cheaper artificial hand became the new priority.
However, Handie still has a lot to offer for its users and it has sufficient functions. the team is already working on a new version of the hands, which inter alia, has to enhance the portability and become completely wireless.