Posting in Design
An Engineering student has created a sophisticated prosthetic limb made out of Lego.
A Lego prosthetic arm designed by an engineering student displays a full range of motion and closely mimics a human limb.
Designer Max Shepherd has managed to create a sophisticated replica of a human arm and hand made entirely from Legos. Lego pneumatics power the hand and wrist movements -- such as wrist abduction/adduction and complicated hand gestures, whereas Lego motors power wrist pronation/supination, flexing and extensions. Elbow movements are also powered by these motors.
Each finger can be controlled independently in the midst of performing complicated wrist and joint movements.
The main purpose of the project was to accurately mimic the range of motions that are available to a human hand, and the secondary motive was to maximize speed and power.
The Lego robotic arm is designed as an above elbow prosthesis, but we're unlikely to see it in mass production any time soon. As a prototype, it currently can only lift a few pounds in weight, and must be controlled with a plethora of switches, air pumps and joysticks.
Other projects that Shepherd has previously work on include a wheelchair that unfolds in to a Segway, a gripper that can manipulate an egg without breaking it, and a leaf blower-powered hovercraft.
View the video below to see the arm in action.
Image Credit: Max Shepherd
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Feb 27, 2012
This is great! I've got to show this to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club that I volunteer at. I lead a program I call "Lego Robotics" where I encourage the kids to build and explore with their imaginations and Legos (I feel that they are the best system for younger kids to work with!) I just wish we could afford to increase the amount of Technics Legos significantly for the kids to work with.
I doubt there is much to do in order to make this useful within a 5 year period (with generous funding, of course). The entire design is already there, it is just a matter of reworking the design to use better materials. Instead of lego plastic, use proper metals and alloys. replace the joins and bands with motors and clamps. Apply some sophisticated software for converting muscle movement in host body to intended actions by the artifical hand, apply skin-like materials, and you've got a market ready prosthetic hand.
I have to gave credit that is a cool robot. It my not serve as prosthetic now but could very way be like a template for future designs. Thumbs up in my opinion
"Made entirely from Legos, the designer Max Shepherd" should give credit to whoever made him, not just to the materials used.