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8 Responses to “Kickstarting a cheap, versatile, sophisticated 3D printed robotic hand”

  1. I’m very skeptical. This hand is gonna be able to lift only a few ounces, and probably won’t stand up under a lot of strain like most printed components. but if they can drive that price down so low with electronics, it’s gonna put the academics to shame. 

    • jandrese says:

      I wonder how much more it would cost to have the thing machined out of aluminum or something so it doesn’t break right away?  Plastic 3D printers are cool but kind of suck for moving parts.  Whatever actuators they’re getting for $300 are probably going to be pretty bad/weak too.  Still, if this could be leveraged to jumpstart a $1,000 useful version.

      • The labor is the real cost here. Probably a couple hundred hours of machining per hand, considering all the individual parts, which drives the price up super high. It’s great to see someone trying as a proof of concept, even if the actual product is going to be more or less useless, but the convenience of  materials sacrifices a lot of actual usefulness.

    • hypnosifl says:

      “A few ounces” could cover a lot of things that are useful to grasp in everyday life–utensils, writing instruments, remote controls, books, phones, etc. Most people don’t actually need to lift heavier things very often, I think, and a person with one of these could be aware of the weight limits and switch it for something less dextrous but more sturdy when needed.

      • A few ounces makes it as effective as one of those pincer-type prosthetics. I used lifting strength as a benchmark because it’s a clear comparison, but the fingers also have to exert sufficient force to hold things between fingers. I doubt these will. 

        Also, there are much more advanced hands like the Shadow hand that, while expensive, still can’t come anywhere close to the dexterity of the human hand. The hand above is probably 5 years from application to prosthetics. Again, it’s great that these dudes are doing this and selling it with the prosthetics angle, but the reality is, it’s not going to be suitable for that purpose.

    • Christopher Jones says:

      Remember, you’re talking about something for PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE A HAND. A robotic hand that can be used to help put on clothes, eat food, tie shoes, hold phones, etc. could be life changing even if it’s not as capable as a much more expensive hand.