Open-source hand prosthetics

Written for the University of Michigan’s One Cool Thing mobile app (07/07/15)

Attention prosthetics enthusiasts!

This prosthetic arm is controlled via smartphone, is powered by camera batteries, and looks like it was plucked from the pages of a science fiction novel. That’s not even close to the end of the list of truly awesome features that accompany the artificial limb built by the Japanese company exii.

As reported by Gizmodo, the prosthetic, dubbed HACKberry, boasts a ductile wrist and finger system that makes it possible to perform actions like picking up objects, flipping through the pages of a magazine, and even tying shoelaces. More, you say? On top of all of these technological feats (and the relatively low cost of the arm), HACKberry’s source code and blueprints are freely available to the public. Yes, you heard correctly: With the hope of jump-starting innovation with complete transparency, HACKberry would like to enlist the aid of any and all prosthetic enthusiasts in order to better the lives of those who have lost an arm. What are you waiting for?