Without fingers, nothing can be gripped. But many people have lost their fingers in accident. South African carpenter Richard van As is trying to change the lives of youngsters born without fingers or who have lost fingers with the 3D-printed Robohands.
South Africa-based woodworker Richard Van As, lost his four fingers in an accident in 2011. After the loss, however, he managed to make a Robohand for himself that could do work instead of his fingers. But, this Robohand was very expensive.
Later, Van As started collaborating with Seattle-based prop designer Ivan Owen, to create a design for inexpensive prosthetics that could work as effectively as real hands and fingers. When 3D printer company MakerBot heard about the project, it donated a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer to each of them.
Using that MakerBot Replicator 2 printer, together they created a low-cost Robohand, which was actually a 3D-printed mechanical hand with prosthetic finger. The low-cost Robohand works by a series of cables and bungee cords that are controlled by movements of the wrist and arm.
Later they made four Robohands, of which the first Robohand was tested by a 5-year-old boy named Liam who was born without fingers on his right hand. Check out this video of Liam using his Robohand.
Now the duo is trying to raise $10,000 by 11:59 pm PT, June 11 through an Indiegogo campaign, so that they can help more children for free. The collected money will be spent to buy materials such as PLA plastic for the 3D printer and hardware to assemble the hands. As of writing, the team has collected $6,400.