The Open Prosthetics Project

Posted 14 Jul 2006 at 00:23 UTC by steve Share This

marev sent us a link to a Dartmouth Online article about the Open Prosthetics Project. The OPP was started by Jonathan Kuniholm, who lost his arm to an improvised explosive device in Iraq. He wanted to help other amputees by speeding up the rate of innovation in the field of prosthetics. As in many fields today, the biggest impediment to innovation is the use of patents and other "intellectual property" mechanisms by a few large companies to block smaller competition. Taking a cue from the Open Source software movement, they're assimilating good ideas for older prosthetic designs such as the Trautman Hook by reverse engineering them. They're also working on more advanced mechatronic prosthetics that draw on and may have applications to robotics. They've also created the amusing but useful prosthetic fishing rod. There are several ways you can help including making a donation. OPP is being helped out by the clever folks at Tackle Design, who you might remember from an earlier story as the group who created Bubba, the ultra-low-cost DIY ordinance disposal robot for under $1000.

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