Ivan is a American cosplayer who invented a useful and detailed mechanical hand. His demonstration video was viewed widely, and he was contacted by a man in South Africa who had lost his fingers in an industrial accident and could not afford the prosthetics in the market. He asked Ivan if they could collaborate to create a design for low-cost, home-made replacement prosthetic fingers. Now Ivan is looking to raise $5,000 to fund the work.
They mention that the plans are intended to be "open," though they don't promise to use any particular license or to refrain from patenting it. However, this earlier design from the project declares that "All of the information and design contained in this write-up is open and available to the public to be used freely."
Update: Ivan Owen, co-creator of the prosthesis, sez, "thank you for pointing out that Rich and I had failed to include a promise on our main site. That has now been rectified. We have absolutely no intention of patenting the device. Ever. Both he and I are tired of how business has been, in some cases, a hindrance to the development of solutions that can help others. The technology to create what we're making has been around for almost 200 years. The fact that it's still such a widespread problem with so few solutions is maddening, and we want to do whatever we can in our power to change that."
His hand was a hit at NORWESCON and within weeks, the silly little Youtube video he had created to share his awesomeness was getting thousands of views a day.
Little did we know that this would not only lead him to getting numerous orders for pairs of these mechanical hands from fellow goofballs that love to dress up and be a little crazy too, for a director of a play, a plastic version for a team of scientists at UCLA and a major Robotics company…but that one day he would get an email from a man named Rich in South Africa who was curious to see if Ivan could help him find a way to figure out the design he had been working on to restore two of the 4 fingers he had recently lost on his right hand due to a woodworking accident…after looking into a few prosthetics and researching the Xfinger design and being told it would cost him up to $10,000 (US Dollars) per finger…he knew he would never be able to afford this and wanted to design something on his own.
Change The World? (Thanks, Weston!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.