Joel Gibbard has designed the Dextrus hand, which is a robotic hand that can be put together for well under £650 ($1000) and offers much of the functionality of a human hand. It uses electric motors instead of muscles and steel cables instead of tendons. 3D printed plastic parts work like bones and a rubber coating acts as the skin. All of these parts are controlled by electronics to give it a natural movement that can handle all sorts of different objects.
The hand can be connected to an existing prosthesis using a standard connector. It uses stick-on electrodes to read signals from the user's remaining muscles which can control the hand, telling it to open or close.
Ultimately, Gibbard's goal is to sell these hands for under $1000. The low price is made possible by the use of 3D printing. Since prices don't scale with volume the cost of a hand in volumes of 10 is the same as the cost in volumes of 1000. Prostheses will always be a low-volume product and mass-production is not feasible.
Gibbard needs £39000 to raise the funds to continue the project, which is being crowd-funded on indiegogo."
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