Innovative and Affordable Prosthetics Now in Namibia
A device which was born out of necessity when a man by the name of Richard van As, severed all the fingers on his right hand while woodworking, is the Robohand. This device, the brain child of van As, is a highly awarded invention and was even nominated for the Rockefeller Innovators Award.
The most incredible part of this story however, is not simply the remarkable invention that is allowing people to regain their mobility again, but that the invention’s design has since its inception been available for anyone to download off the internet, for free.
The providing of the design and tutorial to build your own robotic hand for free download, coupled with using innovative 3D printing to manufacture these devices, means that these robotic devices are an alternative to standard prosthetics and more affordable than standard prosthetics. According to its description, the Robohand is an “open source customised, anatomically driven mechanical devices to assist upper limb different individuals.”
In the next series of the MYD Show, Richard van As shares with us the journey to come up with and develop a robotic hand that has now had more than 2 million downloads off the internet. It’s a story of a man who faced his challenges head on and the people around the world that have benefited from his approach to his difficulties.
That man, Richard van As, is currently in Namibia after teaming up with a Namibian company, Gadget Boy, 3D Solutions, located in Swakopmund. Not only is he here in Namibia but he has availed himself to answer questions, about the Robotic hand, finger or arm devices.
Key in this process is that with the help of a 3D printer, you are involved in the design and manufacture of your own prosthetic device, which according to Richard, is an important part of the healing process when losing a limb.
For more information about the Robohand, take a look at the website that hosts the Robohand designs, by clicking here : Thingiverse
Or get in touch with Gadget Boy 3D Solutions to arrange to speak to Mr. Van As while he is here and available to assist you to build your own prosthetic device. You can find Gadget Boy 3D Solutions through their Facebook page, by clicking here : Gadget Boy 3D
Or by calling +264 (0) 81 375 4532
Article written by Kirsty Watermeyer