This Maker duo’s 3D-printed prosthetic hand is out of this world!
Perhaps one of, if not, most amazing things to recently come from the 3D printing world has been DIY prosthetics. These artificial limbs have grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. One group helping lead the way has been e-NABLE, a global network of volunteers who are using their 3D printers to create prosthetic hands for those in need. Given the initiative’s open source nature, prostheses can now be made for a fraction of the cost of their commercial counterparts.
One of the more popular e-NABLE models has been what’s called the “Cyborg Beast.” Using this as the base for their project, Maker duo Debbie and Danny Leung decided to develop an intergalactic-looking version of their own that boasts some additional functionality. Though it may work like other 3D-printed limbs, thanks to some modifications, an Arduino Nano (ATmega328) and a few other electronics, the Cosmogony brings an entertainment console right to the palm of a user’s hand.
The Cosmogony hand has two modes: display mode and play mode. In display mode, three rainbow diffused LED lights on the palm and four RGB LED lights in the fingertips repeatedly change colors. There’s also an Adafruit 8×8 dot matrix display connected to an accelerometer, which alters images as the wearer moves their hand. Aside from that, the prosthetic can be converted into a virtual video game that employs its embedded accelerometer.
In order to play “Expand Your Universe,” a user simply moves his or her hand in the direction that they’d like the characters to go. For this game, the main characters are actually four planets moving together at the center. As the wearer advances to each stage, an asteroid from a random direction comes closer. To avoid a collision, the user must try move their hand accordingly to dodge the asteroid in an X or Y direction sensed by the accelerometer.
“The blue lights blink in the fingertips, a smiley face appears, and they spread farther apart. To proceed to the next stage a player must successfully dodge asteroids sweeping across from random directions. If a player fails to dodge an asteroid, the red lights blink in the fingertips, a sad face appears, and the player has to start over at that last stage,” its creators explain.
The hand itself is comprised of flexible NinjaFlex filament, while springs were used for the finger joints. Six strings of fiber optic lights make up spiral shaped “galaxy” on the palm, which has a compartment for the LED dot matrix on top. Housed inside the gauntlet of the hand lies the Arduino, a 9V battery and a dual-axis accelerometer.
Pretty amazing, right? Watch it in action below!