A chance connection over the internet has spawned multiple efforts to provide 3D printed hands at an extremely low cost.
Around the world, there are people who have lost all or part of their hand, or were born without one. There are also people and institutions with 3D printers. Pair the two, and you can print a custom mechanical hand for $20-150 — thousands less than the typical prosthetic.
e-NABLE, which functions through a website, Facebook page and Google+ page, stepped up to connect the two after site founder Jon Schull came across work by American prop maker Ivan Owen, who made a metal mechanical hand for South African carpenter Richard Van As. Van As had lost four of his fingers in a carpentry accident.
Owen was then contacted by a mother whose 5-year-old son needed a hand. He again made a metal hand for the boy. But then he turned to 3D printing. MakerBot gave both Owen and Van As a 3D printer.
The pair developed a 3D printed hand for the boy and then posted the design to Thingiverse, where anyone could download and print it.
Van As and Owen’s efforts toward developing 3D printed hands live on via the Roboand project, which has created more than 200 hands and now branched into prosthetic fingers and arms. But Schull was interested in connecting people who needed hands with individual makers and institutions that had 3D printing skills, but potentially idle printers.
He started a Google+ page, and then a Facebook page and website. More than 300 makers make their services available to people who contact e-NABLE about a hand. Just a quick scroll through posts on the Facebook page reveals many, many people who have a use for a hand.
“I see e-NABLE as a crowd-sourced pay-it-forward network for design, customization and fabrication of all sorts of assistive technologies,” Schull told Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is a researcher. “This is a scalable model that could go way beyond 3D printed prosthetic hands.”
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excellent example of a healthseeker designing the device that will help amange their health condition.
Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands.
"...the Sign Language Ring, a ring and bracelet combo unit that works to translate sign language gestures into audio and readable text...The bracelet prints out words spoken or gestured, so the wearer will instantly know what is being said around them."
Bush imagines a more colorful future and dynamic new form factors. Putting anything on your body is an expression of who you are, and how you feel. Glasses started out as a purely medical device, but are now a style object – even for those who don’t need them. "We wear objects as adornment, to feel good," says Bush. Why not look at a neck brace or a walking stick in the same way?
Well this article is about me!
I'm looking forward to designing the new work for my PhD.
It's time to think different in mobile, but we may need some new enabling technologies-energy harvesting where are you?
"There's a palpable energy around wearables, but the ideas are all wrong. The hubbub at the Glazed conference this week was exciting, but the products were clunky."
"I saw a two or three new-to-me smart watches, but they were like smartphones strapped to your wrist. They showed Twitter feeds and Facebook updates and captured HD video. Those are smartphone apps, not wearable apps. Think different, people!"
thank you for writing something that I agree with aobut wearables!
Women facing imminent danger when walking down the street or getting into their cars will soon have new safety options in the booming wearables space.
Sense6, a five-member startup based in San Francisco, is unveiling jewelry pieces that sync to a user’s cellphone to alert authorities when the wearer encounters danger.
The device, which syncs via Bluetooth, simultaneously sends geolocation alerts to the phones of family members and loved ones at the touch of a button. Sense6′s smart jewelry also contains voice recorders that activate automatically and send the data in real time to the cloud.
With wearable sensors and smart patches allowing patients to monitor their own vital signs and even diagnose disease with their smartphones, Qualcomm Life predicts the eventual end of bulky, traditional medical instruments.
One of the complications of fluctuating blood-glucose levels that can happen with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients is blurred vision. In 2010, 3.9 million adults diagnosed with diabetes reported trouble with their vision, according to the U.S.
The future of wearable devices is one of the hottest topics at the 2013 Innovation by Design Conference, but according to Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman and designer Yves Béhar, there is no one iWatch to rule them all.