Alexa Zsófia Vas wants young children who are missing a limb to be able to ride a bicycle or walk their dog, just like every other kid, szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu reports. The parents should not have to pay hundreds of thousands of Forints for an artificial limb. Based on a teenage girl’s concept, the Péter Pázmány Catholic University’s Technology and Bionics faculty 3D printed a light, colourful robotic hand.
Alexa Zsófia Vas is just finishing high school and wants to be an engineer. She convinced György Cserey, an info-bionics engineer, to help her, and this is how the robotic hand came to be.
When the hand is finished, it will give children the opportunity to do things that they could not do before.
With the robotic hand they could ride a bike or walk the dog, little things that should be normal to any kid.
There is a website that helped them: enablingthefuture.org. They have free 3D printable devices with instructions. You can download the design and modify it to fit your needs. These e-NABLE based devices are really basic and cheap, but they can be incredibly useful. Children are growing fast, and most robotic hands cost hundreds of thousands of Forints. Not many families can order a robotic hand like that every year. This model on the other hand, only costs 3-4 thousand Ft, about 12 Euros.
She says that these hands are pretty rudimentary and very cheap. The most expensive part of the hand is the engine, and even that only costs 3 Euros.
But this is only a prototype so far, and it still takes a month to build it. Alexa presented the hand at the TUDOK student conference where she received a special prize.
“It is hard to build the hardware and mechanics, a full working device. It is not easy to put together a prototype, since it requires a kind of knowledge that is not taught in high school” says her mentor.
This robotic hand is not capable of fine motion, but it lets children make a fist by moving their wrists. This simple motion, closing their fingers, make it possible to grab the handlebar of a bicycle or to hold the leash when they are walking their dog.
Featured image: facebook.com/lexa.zs.vas