About

Robohand creates 3D printed and aluminium CNC machined, anatomically driven, custom fitted, functional mechanical devices to help limb different individuals as an alternative to standard prosthetics.

With the advances in technology Robohand turned to 3D printing as a cost effective, quick way of prototyping. When Robohand discovered the potential of 3D printing and the endless possibilities, we recreated the first aluminum hand in 3D print.

The first successful prototype was published in January 2013 with the design being published open source. Between January and November 2013, Robohand has launched the Robofinger and Roboarm.

3D printing is the process of extruding layer upon layer of plastic over the same area, building up a 3D composite. Robohand make use of an online platform called Thingiverse where you can download the free designs for Robohand. We published an assembly manual on the same platform for 3D enthusiasts to create their own basic Robohand.

Robohand utilise medical grade hardware and medical splinting material to ensure the safety of the wearer. This also enables the wearer to bath and swim with the device.

Some things you should know about Robohand devices

Robohand uses 3D printing to provide functional, safe, cost effective upper extremity assistive devices to help enable any individual with an upper limb difference.

Overview and Expectation of Robohand devices:

Device

Assessment Criteria

Benefit

Robofinger(The Tradesman Finger) If people are missing the PIPJ[1] & DIPJ[2]  then your MCP[3] (knuckles) needs to have equal to or greater than 300 (degree) motion Improved Fine Motor Skills
Robohand If people are missing all or partial fingers and/or partial hand, your wrist needs to have equal to or greater than 300 (degree) wrist motion) Provides gross grasp (All fingers open/close together)
Roboarm If people are missing fingers / hand and wrist your elbow needs to have equal to or greater than 300 (degree) motion Gross grasp as above with palm up and down capabilities

Functionality – The design of Robohand uses the motion of existing joint(s) to mechanically move (or drive) the custom made device. Robohands are not myoelectric[4] and do not require invasive surgery. Nor do they have motors or battery packs that add weight, require maintenance and increase cost.  They are environmentally friendly as the PLA they are 3D printed with is biodegradable.

Safety – Robohand creator, Mr. Richard Van As, has dedicated much of his personnel time, energy and financial resources to further his personnel belief that his inventions “DO NO HARM”.

Robohand uses medical Orthoplastic that is custom molded to the wearer to limit the possibility of skin lesions, infection and injury. The Orthoplastic used by Robohand is breathable, washable and medically approved for this type of use.

A Robohand device is custom fitted which adds to client comfort. A proven statistic is 25% of people with prosthetics do not wear them due to the fact they are uncomfortable. Using medical Orthoplastic ensures Robohand will remain medically fit for use and long term wear.

Robohand uses stainless steel hardware that is less likely to fail or break, does not rust or discolor and decreases the risk of infection/injury. Dome nuts are used to decrease the likelihood of injury to yourself or others. Stainless steel is more medically appropriate than cheaper hardware. Many of our clients like to swim and bathe in their Robohands and the stainless steel does not rust or discolor.

Cost effectiveness – Every effort has and will continue to be made to keep Robohand devices cutting edge with innovative designs to increase function and manage cost while maintaining Robohand’s devotion to high product standards with the safest materials available.

Robohand’s mission is to help enable people with an upper limb difference, be more independent and interact with the world so that they might live a full and joyful life.


[1] PIP: Proximal Interphalangeal Joint – this means the middle joint of your finger

[2] DIP:Distal Interphalangeal Joint – this means the end joint of your finger

[3] MCP: Metacarpal Phalangeal Joint – the joint between your hand and finger (knuckle)

[4] Myoelectric definition: A prosthetic control technique which utilizes skin surface EMG muscle potentials for the actuation and movement of an electric powered prosthetic component)

Waldo Loves Robohand