It was only a matter of time before this happened. The advent of 3D printing has made some staggering steps in the last couple of years. From firearms to robotics, this technology has proved its worth as a potential solution to a whole host of challenges and problems in the technology world.
The latest potential solution has been provided by 17-year-old Easton LaChappelle, a Colorado teen who used a 3D printer to create a functioning prosthetic arm and hand. The hand uses robotics to manipulate joints in the fingers allowing it to grab on to and pick up various objects.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about this impromptu device is its price tag. The arm ended up costing only $500 to make, which is a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars put into creating and equivalent prosthetic.
The arm is controlled with a headband that uses electroencephalography (EEG), process used to read brain waves by recording electrical activity along the scalp. In terms of the hardware that makes up the actual joints of the limb, there’s not too much more to it than fishing line and servo motors.
If something like this makes it to market, the question remains if it will continue to be available at the same price-point. A low-cost solution like this could be life changing for amputees in less developed nations.