Youbionic Hand, print your own prosthetic hand in the future
Youbionic Hand is a fully 3D-printed bionic hand prototype developed by the Italian designer Federico Ciccarese and powered by an Arduino Micro to trigger movements.
Federico Ciccarese, a passionate of robotics and medical technology, wanted to create a prosthetic hand for people suffering from birth defects or those with accident-related missing limbs, allowing them to stay independent and simplify their every day lives. The Youbionic Hand project first started as a simple CAD model and through the various conducted experiments, quickly evolved to a functional prototype.
The white plastic hand works through a series of sensors and actuator motors, controlled by the Arduino board. To make it all work, the user has to attach the electrodes to the muscle on the remaining part of his arm. The impulses emitted by the muscle are then read by the device and translated into the movements (opening and closing) of the artificial hand. Moreover, the various strengths of the electrical impulses directly affect the robotic hand’s contraction. For example, a lower impulse will create smaller movements and higher impulse will create larger ones.
According to Federico, he chose to use standard components like the Arduino microprocessor, servos and sensors to make the project more flexible and affordable to the final user. Making mobile prothesis accessible to all handicapped with limited costs. He envisions the Youbionic users to be able to upgrade the hardware and software of their limbs to adapt the different functionalities according to their specific needs. Furthermore, thanks to the simplicity of the manufacturing, people will afford to easily 3D-print their hand at home, easily and cheaply.
At the moment, the hand is still a work-in-progress made entirely out of plastic, but Youbionic is expected to add rubber to the design to help make movements like pinching and gripping easier. Moreover, Youbionic is encouraged to push the project even further because of the multiple variety of application. Therefore, they are now improving the hand to make it a wearable product and are expanding the development to be able to replace even more parts of the human body in the future.