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Open-Source Prosthetics 51

D H NG writes "Wired News has a story about the non-profit Open Prosthetics Project. The organization was founded last year by Jonathan Kuniholm, a graduate student in biomedical engineering at Duke University who lost his arm below the elbow in Iraq. Open Prosthetics Project applies the ethical and intellectual property foundation of open-source software to the task of building better artificial limbs. So far, the project has produced a 'handful' of useful homebrew prosthetic hacks, and is closing in on a solution that would dramatically improve the functionality of the common hook device."
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Open-Source Prosthetics

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    prosthetics with MS drivers had a tendency to inexplicably hurl chairs all over the place.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, you shoulda seen the Mac version. They were beautifully made, colourful, and simple to use. Unfortunately, Apple neglected to include opposable thumbs... :-)

      (Posting Anon cause I just know this is gonna get marked "overrated")
  • by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:37PM (#16163904) Homepage Journal
    Just last week I heard amazing news.
    Bionic Arm [].

    It's really important that almost anyone could obtain this independence restoring medical device should they need one. Open Source ought to help with that, since I can just see some company trying to own a part and charging $5000 for a chip that you could get for $5 in Hong Kong.
  • closing in on a solution that would dramatically improve the functionality of the common hook device

    Ya think? I mean aside from being perfectly designed to hang from the passenger door handle of teenage lovers' cars, a hook it not exactly the most useful interface in the modern world. How do you dial (or push) a telephone with a hook? How do you type with a hook?

    Bravo for open source! It's about time someone designed something better than a hook, like maybe five knife fingers or a chainsaw.
  • The adaptive grasp concept is freaking awesome. For a glove full of rice it seems a very elegant solution. I tip my hat to these guys.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First, it was 'Talk Like a Pirate' Day [], then Microsoft released an "IE Patch" [], and now we're discussing hooks? Sounds like we'll have that global warming [] thing reversed in no time!
  • The affordable, disposable implants and prosthetics industry is here now. You can buy three mainstream cybernetic devices for under $40 and six under $500! []
  • tacky jokes (Score:4, Funny)

    by andyatkinson ( 896462 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:57PM (#16164006)
    I can't believe you'd make a joke like "a-hand-up" dept. or "handful" of hacks. If I met you, mano a mano, I'd know how to handle your type, you're nothing but two left hands, all hands and no action, I'd really hand it to you. You're lucky I'm at work now, I gotta take off for my All Hands meeting. I'm assuming someone will take the handoff here to pick up the good fight against types like you.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I can't believe you'd stoop to taking such a topic so lightly Andy. This guy is doing something spectacular here. He's really out on a limb. We should all be thinking about how we can lend him a hand. After all, donating to causes like this doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Benefiting from them however . . .
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by proxy318 ( 944196 )
        Now, look. Now's not the time to be pointing fingers. We should hand off this type of research to those that grasp it, and give them all a big thumbs-up. After all, if they don't take matters in to their hands, who will? There's no need to arm yourself with insults, or to be so touchy.
    • by bladx ( 816461 ) wouldn't be funny if you had lost a limb.
  • For a sec there I thought it said Open-Source Prostitiutes.
    • by Svet-Am ( 413146 )
      so, you're saying that you want to take a look at their source? my wager would be on a Mom and Dad, just like everyone else.
  • This would be great if it continues towards transhumanism. I really hope open source can help us towards the singularity. It really fits with the idea well.
    • This would be great if it continues towards transhumanism. I really hope open source can help us towards the singularity. It really fits with the idea well.

      Since the software and hardware which we use now are open source, to the extent that we understand them, it makes sense for our new infrastructure to be open as well.

      Since I am getting on in age, I have decided to go it alone in this direction, since medical science won't be delivering any solutions to ageing in the next hundred years or so. Do you kno

      • by Cybert4 ( 994278 ) *
        Sure! is a non-profit, so everything they do is pretty much open. There's a lot of money behind the mouse prize as well. is a great forum for the singularity.
  • don't build them... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Friday September 22, 2006 @07:21PM (#16164120) Homepage
    Grow them. [] (Just published on Wired's site.)
  • Can your legs run linux?
    • They can, but we don't expect many people to use this option until Microsoft stops supporting their current software. Wait, that's more scary than funny . . .
  • Should be a hot topic - I am sure most people would rather lose their arm then their manhood.
  • After an artificial arm is all but indistinguishable from a 'real' arm, someone will try using prosthetics as an enhancement. I'm not sure where the third and fourth arms will attach, but someone will try.

    What the market demands, someone eventually builds.
  • ...what this code would do:

    while (3 != 5)
  • As someone who is way overdue for a new artificial eye, I'm all for this development model.
    (Unfortunately, my particular case can't be handled by mechanical engineering. It's all about the steady hand of an artisan.)
    Please do not doubt the life-changing/enhancing work that will come out of this.
  • It's high time for other assistive living devices, like Open Source hearing aids. Digital hearing aids are outside of the affordability range for many people who don't have insurance (i.e. thousands of dollars for a pair). I have a hard time believing that the devices are priced competetively at all, and suspect that putting some open source designs out there may really jumpstart the market and improve quality of life for the hearing impaired.

    Not to mention, it would be nice for HA wearers to be able to m
  • I bet they still cost an arm and a leg.

    Oh wait...
  • I thought it said Open Source Prostitutes.
  • So, people with the means can get fancy new prosthetic hands, with lifelike and semi-functional fingers. People with limited funds, or an ideology driving their choice, can get the open-source 'Stallman Hook.'

    'Aye, Matey' exclaims an idealist gimp, with enthusiasm.
  • I'm trying to imagine different product and company philosiphies applied to prosthetics. I think it'd go something like this:

    Mac- Extremely stylish. Has a slot for your ipod. Comes in two colors - white and black. Only left-handed version available.

    Gentoo- Roll your own limb. Pick your material (fiberglass? carbon fiber? titanuim?) and choose from a dizzing array of cast types. Select anything from a simple hook to the latest robotic digits. Spend a good 6 months to a year molding, casting it, and trying to
  • I for a second misread the title as "Open-Source Prostitutes".

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