Belarusian students create cheap bionic hand

Belarusian students create cheap bionic hand

Photo: GoodStart

Four students from Belarusian National Technical University (BNTU) have developed a prototype of the bionic hand.

In the future, they plan to make a mass device that will help people who lost their upper limb. Now in Belarus, only cosmetic prostheses are made. The bionic hand will perform various actions. The new prosthesis will not be as sophisticated as the western analogue, however it will be much cheaper.

More than 1,700 people in Belarus live without upper limb, so the students from the BNTU have decided to help them.

Sensors are placed on the remaining limb. They capture pulses. Then the contraction of muscles transfers these impulses to a card. The card transfers signal to the motors which subsequently bend fingers.

Alexei Kuznetsov, project manager:
Hand motions and holding of small objects  are already available. This device will be a simplified version of the bionic hand. We understand that we cannot create a prosthetic hand that could compete with the Scottish analogue, for example, which costs around $50,000.

Foreign analogues cost around $20,000. The Belarusian guys want their prosthesis to cost no more than $2,000.

Particular attention is paid to the hand’s appearance. The students created a prototype which allows crafting the mechanism of bionic hand's work.

Gleb Viazhevich, designer:
At the moment, we have a mechanical part. So, all the limb drives are functioning, but the wires are pulled out to supply power in order to check the efficiency of the device. The drives will be further developed.

The next stage will be development of a program that will scan a healthy hand. Based on the obtained data, it will model an optimal prosthesis of the lost hand. The ultimate goal of the project is to turn prosthesis into a mass device, which will be easily ordered and received.