Italian Robotics company Youbionic has produced a 3D printed, and customizable human attachment, consisting of two robotic hands controllable using one human hand.
The bionic hand consists of a 3D printed exterior, an Arduino micro-controller, a set of actuators and three electrodes, activated by by human nerve impulses.
Hands on robotics
Youbionic states that “the tech companies are working to increase our mind. We’re trying to increase our body.” The company is doing just that through a combination of robotics, electomagnetic sensors and 3D printing.
While its single handed predecessors and early versions were directed at amputees, this particular device is appropriate for a wider group, and directed towards human augmentation (also known as biohacking) rather than medical applications, which Youbionics states is enhancing a person’s “native ability to obtain extraordinary abilities.”
One handed ambidexterity
From Youbionics Double Hand website and instagram accounts, it appears that Double Hand components have been 3D printed using FFF, with the hands produced in one print.
Added to this is the Arduino micro-controller, which processes nerve signals picked up by electrodes, and then moves the actuators.
“There’s electricity in all muscles of our body,” Youbionic CEO Federico Ciccarese explained in an interview with digital trends. “When the brain sends an impulse to the muscle, the sensor reads it and translates it into a number proportional to the contraction and then sends this message to the micro-controller.”
As demonstrated in the video below moving the closest two digits to the thumb moves one of the hands, and the furthest two digits other hand. Quick movement results in a closed fist, while slow movement results in a pinch.
Biohacking and beyond
The Double Hand may prove useful with number of applications. Combined with prosthetics, it may help amputees (like its predecessor) or provide extra support for holding things. It has been suggested that the Double Hand is uniquely capable of solving the “Carrying Drinks From the Bar” problem.
A number of other 3D printed arm and hand enhancements have begun to make an impact. Havenlabs’ 3D printed gauntlet and utility band for amputees are open source, and may be fitted with customised attachments. The Third Thumb 3D printed digit has applications ranging from squeezing lemons to playing the guitar.
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Featured image shows the Youbionic 3D printed bionic hand. Video by Federico Ciccarese, GIF by R. Haria.