Social Hardware's Prosthetic Hand Development Kit

Open Hardware – Prosthetic Hand

© Lead Image © Joerg Michael Gehrke,

© Lead Image © Joerg Michael Gehrke,

Article from Issue 215/2018

In true open hardware spirit, Social Hardware looks to produce a development kit for prosthetic hands to help rural amputees in India.

India has more than half a million upper limb amputees. Most have no hope of a prosthetic, partly because of a world-wide shortage of prosthetic technicians, but mainly because prosthetics start at $30,000, far more than many amputees can afford. In this crisis, any innovative solutions are welcome, and Cameron Norris and Abhit Kumar of Social Hardware [1] are about to launch a crowdfunding campaign to provide one [2]. The campaign will be for the production of a Prosthetic Hand Development Kit, which will allow backers to build a hand for less than $500 – and, Norris hopes, will encourage buyers to donate their results to amputees in India (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The development kit's artificial hand.

Norris' background is in digital marketing. He adds, however, that "I've always gravitated towards design and technology." In pursuing those interests, Norris went to work for Wevolver, a London-based community site for sharing open hardware projects [3]. As part of his work, he documented more than one hundred projects, as well as helping projects with community building and licensing issues, all of which helped him to understand the characteristics of successful open source projects.


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