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“Robohands” Made by New 3D Printers Assist Children without Hands

By June 3, 2013February 28th, 2023Blog

Robotic hand technology has become quite advanced, but with advancement comes expense. If one wishes to get a robotic hand for a child or an adult, it generally costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to create. Or, if you have a 3D printer, you can now create one yourself.

A man by the name of Richard Van made his own fingers from basic hardware from a store when he lost four of his own fingers in an accident. With the recent popularity of 3D printers, he’s now written up the design so that it can be created with a 3D printer.

After much trial and error, he and his associate Ivan Owen were able to create a prosthetic finger, and have since advanced to an entire hand that functions almost as well as a traditionally-made robotic one. So far, they’ve printed four hands for children who lack them in South Africa, the first of which went to a young boy by the name of Liam.

Liam was born without fingers due to something called amniotic band syndrome, and at the request of his mother, he received a new hand from Owen and Van. The hand comes at a fraction of the cost of a traditionally-made one, and manages to give some functionality to Liam that he would have not have had otherwise.

The Robohand is controlled with cables and bungee cords that are easily replaced in case they break. So far, the pair of designers has made all of the hands for free, and they’re running an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise $10,000 so they can assist more kids. The $10,000 will go toward the special plastic that must be used in the process and the hardware used to shape the hand specifically for the child that needs it.

Check here for the Indiegogo.
Check here for the YouTube video and some images of the hands.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.