Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coming Up Short Handed: Open, Low tech Prothetics - Video

The Coming Up Short Handed project hopes to develop open source prosthetics, enabling access for those who can’t afford commercial products.

US-based Ivan Owen originally developed a working mechanical hand to be used as part of a costume, but when he uploaded a video of the device onto Youtube he was contacted by South African Richard Van As, who saw how the home-made prosthesis could be beneficial to both himself and others with mobility problems.

The two formed the current project, which aims to use basic techniques to create low-cost mechanical aids as an alternative to expensive professionally-designed options, as well as provide instructions on how others can build them themselves. The first design is a mechanical finger, demonstrated in the video.

Coming Up Short Handed isn’t the only project of its kind – the Open Prosthetics Wiki is also doing similar work in this field. Both projects could help victims of disease, war or accidents – especially in poorer countries – to regain full use of their body.


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