[Easton's] animatronic hand gets 3D printed upgrade

[Easton] as been working with [Jeremy Blum] to come up with the newest version of his animatronic hand. You may remember seeing [Easton's] first animatronic hand, with which he won his regional science fair and made a trip to nations. Since then he’s been working on improvements, and with access to [Jeremy's] Makerbot he harnessed the power of open source design to make his own printed hand, extending a different Thingiverse project.

He’s still using the original sensor glove as a controller. It sends commands to the Arduino controlling the arm via an Xbee module. From there, five servos inside a fiberglass forearm move each finger and the thumb. The video clip after the break gives [Easton] a chance to show off all of the new design features, and finishes with a demonstration of the hand grasping different objects. We had a chance to chat with him briefly. He’s got big goals for himself, aiming to design a prosthetic arm for under $1000. That’s not a career goal… he’d like to get it done this year.

10 thoughts on “[Easton's] animatronic hand gets 3D printed upgrade

  1. Awesome!

    Just… make sure to keep it human controlled…

    Interfacing it with an amputee seems like the next step…

  2. Why not 3D print the enclosure too instead of fiberglass?

    It works really well and smoother than I expected he should deff collaborate with the guy who made the original printable hand.

  3. Amazing. Hope this project ends up giving people that really needs this things a go. Those weird functional prosthetics are ridiculously expensive. This might not look as natural as those, but its probably cheaper. Now, to interface the thing with forearms!

  4. Interesting progress on this project, still plenty of room for refinining.

    Initial steps would be rounding off all the finger parts and removing excessive material in order to get the weight down, which makes life easier for the servos. It’ll look better as well.

    A while back I actually did some design sketches about making a hand after I saw Easton’s first video, it’s a project I plan on doing at some point.

    I’m more focused on freedom of movement though and my design has 3 servos for each finger. One for the main part of the finger, connected to the tip for flexing, the other two for the knuckle by the palm, said knuckle will probably be a 2-axis gimble, universal joint or similar 2 axis joint. Should allow for much greater control when flexing, allowing for better claw shapes to be made and also letting you expand the span of the hand.

    It’ll be at least 15 servos for a hand, 17 including the wrist movements (up/down and left/right), possibly more if I add rotation to the hand/wrist.

    Can you tell I’ve given it some thought? :)

  5. nice project there, and if he can make a prosthetic arm for such a low cost just imagine how many people would benefit from this. Also just imagine if the NHS was able to make these on demand to exact dimensions without having to send off to the workshops, lets just wait and see guys.

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