Tag Archives: Joel Gibbard

3D Printed Robotic Hand Organization Hoping to Close Crowdfunding

The Open Hand Project Aims to Use 3D Printing to Help Amputees

Joel Gibbard is an engineer based in Bristol, UK and founded the Open Hand Project, which aims to make prosthetic hands dramatically cheaper and more accessible to amputees by way of 3D printing.

“The vision of the project is to make robotic prosthetic hands more accessible to amputees,” said Gibbard. “I plan to continue the development for a further year, and for the prostheses to be in use after that. After the devices are in use I plan to move the development forward into further lowering the cost, further advancing the technology and making it more accessible to children and partial hand amputees.”

Link: visit the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign

Open Hand Project Thumbs Up

The Open Hand Project is a non-profit organization and not affiliated with any other institutions.

Its first product, the Dextrus hand, is a working prototype resulting from this open source hardware initiative. It is a fully-functional robotic hand, with features and capabilities similar to leading advanced prosthetics, but at up to 1/100th of the cost.

The Dextrus hand works much like 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.

It uses existing artificial limb attachment hardware and mounts to keep costs down and stick-on electrodes to read signals from the remaining muscles, which can control the hand, telling it to open or close.

3D printing was instrumental to the design and development of the Dextrus hand. “If I didn’t have my 3D printer the development to get this far would have taken at least a year and would have cost 10 times as much,” explained Gibbard. “I’ve only had the 3D printer around 4 months and it was about 3 months between printing my first part, to having the hand you see now.

Support the Crowdfunding Campaign

Mr. Gibbard launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise £39,000 to fund the project for an entire year. The campaign ends on October 9th and he just over halfway to his goal.

Open Hand Project Amputee

Watch this video for the campaign, which includes footage of Chef Liam Corbett, an amputee himself, using the Dextrus hand and explaining its benefits. ”I would be proud to wear this, it would make me feel more confident,” said Corbett.

We asked Mr. Gibbard to share his thoughts on why people should donate to his campaign. Here’s what he said:

People should get on board because we need their support. We have plenty of time to achieve the goal and momentum has really been picking up around the project. Here are 5 reasons that people should donate:

1. One day, you could need this! It’s worth a £15 donation just for the peace of mind to know that it will be available when you might need it.
2. It’s an “all or nothing” campaign. If the funds aren’t raised, you get all of your money back.
3. You can get a great perk in exchange for your pledge. Winter is coming here in the Northern Hemisphere and we could all do with a pair of warm gloves!
4. You’re giving money to a fantastic cause, this could help thousands of people around the world.
5. Every donation helps, even £1 really helps to keep the campaign moving and build awareness. You can keep the amount anonymous if you want to!

You can support their Indiegogo campaign or learn more about the organization at www.openhandproject.org.