Explore the world of robotics with this 3D-printed, Arduino-driven hand


Hobby Hand is a 3D-printed robotic hand that mimics natural movement and can be easily controlled by anyone.


The brainchild of Iowa City-based Biomechanical Robotics Group, the Hobby Hand is a 3D-printed robotic hand capable of mimicking the natural movements of its human overlord.

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The modular platform is ideal for hobbyists, tinkerers, Makers and robotics enthusiasts, as well as educators looking to introduce students to programming, analog sensors and hardware. In terms of its design, the Hobby Hand consists of five servo motors for lateral movement and five additional servos responsible for bending. A top piece mounts the hand onto the servo motor frame, which guides the flexion cables to the servos.

An Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and servo shield are tucked away inside the base, which acts as the control center for the Hobby Hand. This is also where you’ll find all of the motors, sensors and additional peripherals attached to the board. The electronics are driven by a 5V 4A power supply.

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Each finger has a total of four bands that saddle the center line to maximize the stability of each digit. These elastics are tasked with bringing the finger back to its original position after closing. Additionally, the team has devised an analog board of potentiometers that handle flexion and side-to-side movement.

What’s more, the Hobby Hand even comes with a mini breadboard, which is connected to the servo motor frame. This enables Makers to add extra analog sensors (light, sound, muscle and others), LEDs and speakers to their project.

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The hand itself ships in one of two forms: either as a fully-assembled, out-of-the-box product or as a DIY kit with a step-by-step instruction manual. The Biomechanical Robotics Group crew advises that the latter option requires some basic soldering know-how and a few common tools. Intrigued? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $30,000. Delivery is slated for June 2016.

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