According to foreign media New Atlas, amputees usually have to wait a long time to get a custom bionic hand. But soon, they should be able to order custom bionic hands that are 3D printed within 10 hours.
The device, known as the IMPACT hand, was developed by British company Iterate Design and Innovation Ltd, the University of Warwick in the UK, with its associated WMG research team and other private companies. It was inspired by a similar bionic hand invented by Ben Ryan, founder of The British start-up Ambionics.
The researchers plan to ask customers to use a dedicated website where they will enter measurements of the remnants of the arm and preferences such as color. Then start printing its IMPACT hand, which should be ready for shipment in 10 hours.
The electronic circuit consists of silver-based conductive ink, which is built into the polymer bionic hand at the time of printing. When an embedded sensor detects a specific type of muscle activity in the user’s arm, the bionic hand battery-powered motor starts, causing the articulated thumb to move in or out – a feature that allows the hand to grab and release objects.
The IMPACT project was implemented through a grant of nearly 900,000 pounds from the government-run agency Innovate UK. There is no word yet on the price of the bionic hand or when it will start ordering.