Need a hand? No really… if you need a new hand Open Bionics has you covered. The advanced technology company has been making serious headway in the bionic prostheses department, and have recently opened up shop to allow those with missing limbs to acquire the necessary parts to replace some of the functionality of said limbs.
We reported on the company teaming up with Square Enix and Eidos Montreal last year for the then upcoming release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. They had announced during the 2016 E3 event that a prosthetic arm blueprint based on Adam Jensen’s advanced bionic limb from the game would be launching in 2017 for those with 3D printers.
Well, the company not only managed to make 3D printing documents available for those who want to create their own open bionic limb(s), but they’re also directly selling a Brunel bionic hand with MyoWare support (which is actually sold separately). You can get the hand for £1,499 from over on the Open Bionics online shop.
This is actually one of the cheapest bionic hands on the market with full extension of digit actuation that allows for four degrees of movement, along with nine degrees of freedom.
For performing basic actions and being able to do things like pick up some objects or interact with things like spoons, shoes, a tooth brush, or adjusting some articles of clothing, the bionic hand can help out a ton. You can see its range of movement in a brief 15 second demonstration video below.
DARPA has their own set, but it’s terribly expensive and no where near as convenient as Open Bionics. There are also a few other kind of robotic prosthetic limbs that require some rather intrusive surgery, which most people can’t afford along with not wanting to experience that level of discomfort.
The good part about Open Bionics’ hand is that it can be paired with the Myo Gesture muscle-memory feedback accessories, but unlike the other robotic limbs no surgery is required.
You will have to do a bit of firmware installation and setting up the biomimetic gesture feedback using the MyoWare Muscle Sensor, which you can also purchase from the Open Bionics store.
The biomimesis provided through the MyoWare EMG electrodes will allow you to read the muscle data, store the readings, and then apply the data to the Brunel prosthetic hand using the firmware app. Essentially what this will do is allow you to control the hand’s movements using the muscle flexes in your arm. It’s not quite as accurate as your standard synaptic nerve signals, but for £1,499 and a few change for the MyoWare band, it’s not a bad alternative for people who are missing a hand.
You can see how it performs in real-time with the video demonstration below.
Now if you don’t get the MyoWare electrodes and you decide to avoid using the firmware guide for turning the Brunel into a MyoWare compatible device, you can still use the PC or smartphone app to control the movements of the hand, similar to the kind developed by Meltin MMI Co., or Owl Labs.
Open Bionics’ Brunel package comes with the fully assembled hand, a micro USB cable, a stand and a 12 volt DC power supply. It’s Arduino IDE compatible, USB programmable, and has fully controllable RGB status LEDs.
You can learn more about the prosthetic and other parts you can pick up from Open Bionics by visiting the official website.