Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Colorado Teen Designs Robotic Arm With 3D Printing

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the best-science-project-ever dept.

Technology 68

coolnumbr12 writes "A Colorado teenager has used 3D printing to create a robotic prosthetic arm that is fully functional and costs less than $500 to make. At TedxMileHigh in Denver, Colo., 17-year-old Easton LaChappelle demonstrated his robotic arm, and how he constructed the arm to keep costs low. 'So in the end, I built this robotic arm up to the shoulder which was extremely strong,' LaChapelle said. 'It could toss balls to you, it could shake your hand, it could pretty much do anything a human could if you program it correctly.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I can see the big boys killing this (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | about a year ago | (#44600181)

with all kinds of regulations and safety cases that have to be complied with... things they can cope with because they're so large, but little upstart companies can't afford to comply with...

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#44600391)

The "big boys" still have to compete with each other. No doubt they will use the same techniques that this teen has been using because it's cheaper. The problem everyone faces is excessive government regulations, certification, and insurance. Essentially, it's your own government that's robbing these wounded veterans blind. That, and the lawyers.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600471)

Sure, it's the government that's making them so expenssive, not the corporate greed.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44607811)

Wait, there's a difference between governments and corporations??

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

Daemonik (171801) | about a year ago | (#44600539)

Maybe if the poor downtrodden manufacturers weren't such soulless bastards that willingly sell untested barely functioning devices and drugs to the populace at sickening profit, the government wouldn't have had to step in with all their evil regulations and certifications.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (3, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44601621)

The kid still did it.

Who dares, Wins

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#44604527)

And the president met with him in person. Still doesn't mean the kid wont get sued into oblivion. Poor bastard.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year ago | (#44606657)

What has he done that warrants suing?

Time for Liberty Amendments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602743)

ala Mark Levin. Drive a stake through the heart of this Federal Monstrosity!

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44607293)

The problem everyone faces is excessive government regulations, certification, and insurance.

Someone already pointed out that regs wouldn't apply to this prosthetics, but would you have an artificial eye lens or artificial knee without "excessive" government regulations, certification, and insurance? I sure wouldn't. Which of these regulations do you consider to be "excessive"?

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

Meski (774546) | about a year ago | (#44612929)

It should be *your* choice which regulations you consider excessive for a prosthetic attached to *your* body. Noone elses.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#44601169)

with all kinds of regulations and safety cases that have to be complied with... things they can cope with because they're so large, but little upstart companies can't afford to comply with...

You have no idea WTF you're talking about.
Generic "zomg too much regulation comments" almost always get upmodded and are almost always full of shit.
Prostheses are more or less exempt from any FDA regulation that would make them expensive.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=890.3420 [fda.gov]

Sec. 890.3420 External limb prosthetic component.

(b)Classification. Class I (general controls). The device is exempt from the premarket notification procedures in subpart E of part 807 of this chapter, subject to the limitations in 890.9. The device is also exempt from the current good manufacturing practice requirements of the quality system regulation in part 820 of this chapter, with the exception of 820.180, regarding general requirements concerning records and 820.198, regarding complaint files.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=890.9 [fda.gov]

Sec. 890.9 Limitations of exemptions from section 510(k) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act).

The exemption from the requirement of premarket notification (section 510(k) of the act) for a generic type of class I or II device is only to the extent that the device has existing or reasonably foreseeable characteristics of commercially distributed devices within that generic type or, in the case of in vitro diagnostic devices, only to the extent that misdiagnosis as a result of using the device would not be associated with high morbidity or mortality. [...]

[A list of reasons when your product is not exempt]

There's someone, somewhere, who had to spend money for the FDA to approve the first brain--computer--limb interface, but after that, everyone gets a free ride.

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44601659)

Really? After listening to his speech I heard him say he's working for NASA. On a Robot for NASA. Cool gig. In a small town, everybody knows everybody and what they've done; think "Public Access to NSA records, with appended editorials."

I feel compeled to ask, "What is the statis on the Walker, for his friend?"

Re:I can see the big boys killing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601935)

Publish the files, and the source, let people make "black market" arms and sell them around. Some expertise and SoCs will be required. Heck, this kid could crank them out one at a time, disclaim them as "novelty items", and some amputees in need will have access to a cheaper arm.

If you program it correctly (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600195)

There's the problem, making something that looks like a prosthetic arm is the easy part. Programming it to make it work, as well as ensuring that it is durable enough for an arm is the remaining 90% of the work he has to do.

17 years old (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600287)

I know exactly how this 17 year old is going to program this arm.

Let's just say, it'll only move up and down.

Re:17 years old (2)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#44600309)

Just as long as he doesn't load the wrong program so that it thinks it's holding a screwdriver and is about to begin twisting...

Re:17 years old (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44601667)

Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Re:17 years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600319)

If it were for your mom it would be molded into a fist, and programmed to thrust in and out. It will also be colored dark brown and detachable for easy cleaning.

Hah! Fuck, I'm so clever.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:17 years old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600403)

If it were for your mom it would be molded into a fist, and programmed to thrust in and out. It will also be colored dark brown and detachable for easy cleaning.

Hah! Fuck, I'm so clever.

-- Ethanol-fueled

If it keeps her from pestering me to call her all the time, then I'm all for it!

Re:17 years old (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#44601215)

If it were for your mom it would be molded into a fist, and programmed to thrust in and out. It will also be colored dark brown and detachable for easy cleaning.

Hah! Fuck, I'm so clever.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Unfortunately, she did not know the mains in East Germany were 220 volt.

Re:If you program it correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600675)

Yes, "3D printing" is all about making "things" that LOOK like real things.

Don't show how it moves or is being controlled (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600769)

If anyone watched the video, he talks about how want to control it wirelessly. Also shows the robotic arm, even on stage.

But he doesn't attempt to show how it moves or is controlled what would be what everybody is expecting to see.

Re:Don't show how it moves or is being controlled (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44601679)

I find myself doing something that I rarely ever do; agreeing with an AC.

Re:Don't show how it moves or is being controlled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601747)

I wouldn't want it to be wireless. It would be hacked by all the neighbors and end up useless. Can you imagine driving with it, and some miscreant hacks it to make you go off the road?

Re:If you program it correctly (1)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#44601337)

Yes. And additionally, he's looking to use a paltry 10-channel EEG to do it. That may be enough for someone with good (and conscious) concentration to move one axis back and wards, and maybe even switch between axes. But moving the arm unconsciously and naturally? No way. Not even close. For that, you need some sort of nerve reinnervation, direct patch-clamping of the motor neurons, or an intercranial BMI (Brain Machine Interface) right in the motor cortex. Or you could sit inside a noninvasive MEG (Magnetoenchphalogram) machine, but those aren't exactly portable.

Re:If you program it correctly (1)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#44601341)

back and wards

Back and forewards.

Re:If you program it correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601369)

"90%" in a comment indicates a made-up statistics.

Re:If you program it correctly (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44602379)

There's the problem, making something that looks like a prosthetic arm is the easy part. Programming it to make it work, as well as ensuring that it is durable enough for an arm is the remaining 90% of the work he has to do.

3D Printer: $1000
CAD Setup for designing the models: $2995
Plastic filament: $100
Servo mechanism and electronics for arm: $150

Licensing of the software required to make the arm do what it's supposed to do: Priceless.

Re:If you program it correctly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602571)

For the cad OpenSCAD, FreeCad or even a pirated one will work, so reduce 3000 dollars of you list.

Open source. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600201)

Most high costs are justified by "research costs", while patents are said to be meant to protect such investment from being invalidated by someone who copies the idea -- actually it avoids others from doing it independently and more efficiently.

But open source -- here applied to hardware -- is done by people out of joy or fun... since the work is its own reward, there are no high costs.

This is not against capitalism -- in fact, it's the very basic idea of doing what one knows best and benefitting others, while geting a just reward in exchange.

When did we allow corporations to take capitalism from us?

OT: Also, this port scanning sucks. Don't do that to your customers. I'm not here to troll. I rarely even post these days. If you're so intent on make ACs unwelcome, why not demanding commenters to register? Others unwisely do that, and they lose a lot because of that, but at least they don't annoy visitors...

Not a gun (3, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about a year ago | (#44600227)

Glad to see /. can find better articles on 3D printing.

Re:Not a gun (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44600281)

I though it meant a prosthetic arm with a built-in 3D printer. Imagine if you could go around printing things all over the place with a robotic arm.

Re:Not a gun (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44600315)

yes. Not a gun. Not a figurine of some anime-sex-thing. But so what?

3D printing is a means of creation. This guy would have resorted to wood work if he didn't have 3D printing.

Re:Not a gun (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about a year ago | (#44602475)

No sarcasm directed at the kid at all. I meant what I wrote. At least /. isn't rehashing someone trying to make a gun.

Re:Not a gun (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about a year ago | (#44600545)

Of course it's not a gun. Guns have been done. Now they need *the hands to fire them* !! (or fire them again after a liberator blew up some guy's hand)

Re:Not a gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601753)

No, but unfortunately still arms-related.

Re:Not a gun (1)

Dabido (802599) | about a year ago | (#44609157)

In other news, it can also be used as a gun ... er ...

hospital change master price $20,000 + other fees (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44600229)

hospital change master price $20,000 + other fees but if you are in market and have a plan it's only $1000 all in.

Can it toss my salad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600233)

The question on every slashdotters mind.

Re:Can it toss my salad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600263)

No, but since it can toss balls and shake hands, I'm assuming it can also shake your balls.

Howard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600267)

Is that you?

And this can't happen without capitalism! (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44600293)

Every time I hear someone say that artists won't create without being paid. That's a lie. It's the publishers who want to be paid. Artists just want to create and not die of starvation but artists don't need to be paid -- they can get jobs too.

This guy is an artist. A brilliant artist, but an artist just the same. He doesn't just engineer things. He creates things.

My heart will sink when I see some giant company snatch this guy up and the things he makes get marked back up to that $80,000 mark again.

We see what's wrong with the world and "the system" (we say the system so we don't have to blame people directly right?) and we just go on without saying anything about it. I hope people start saying things. You don't have to do anything -- just say something. Say something to businesses out there. They might ignore you or me, but they won't ignore everyone -- they can't.

Change the world. Just say something.

Re:And this can't happen without capitalism! (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#44600515)

Sadly, I believe that your assessment is correct.

Re:And this can't happen without capitalism! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#44605769)

Ok, I'm going to have to yell bullshit on this. I know enough startup bands in my time in highschol and college and many dreamed of getting signed onto a record and making it big.

The problem is always framing it in what the artist wants. Well, I'm sure my bricklayer/plumber/carpenter/electrician would love to get paid for the houses they built the rest of their lives, but they settle for a one time payment. We know what the artists want, they want as much for themselves as they can get while being able to copy/borrow/steal from their peers and predecessors with impunity.

If we see societal protection as an actual cost, which it is, the question becomes how much do we extend to promote the arts and sciences. I believe the average artist is about as concerned about getting locked-in royalties for his great grandkids as the average bricklayer, which is about 0, unless it's the icing on the cake. Therefore, we can retract societal protections to be much more reasonable lengths of time, and hell, keeping the artist a little on the meager side might light a fire under their asses.

Re:And this can't happen without capitalism! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#44605919)

So you are projecting your own sense and presumption of greed onto other people you don't know?

Think about the fact that you're commenting in a thread about a kid with zero profit motive has created something better than prosthetics makers sell for tens fo thousands of dollars.

No one needs to promote the arts. The arts are a natural human interest. The promotion part is about marketing -- making it a for-profit enteprise and we all know all too well that enterprise isn't about the artist, but about the artist's output.

These arguments have been rehashed over and over again. First you presume artists want the same thing the publishers want. And then that they actually get a share of what the publishers get. Reality is really very different.

You have clearly never been a creator before. You do not demonstrate an understanding that people actually have a natural interest in creating and learning. Does a 5 year old with crayons seek perpetual royalties? No. He just wants to draw something he likes and share it with his parents and teachers. F/OSS is more about creating sometihng good than anything else and it shows. Worse, it's growing in the face of the for-profit motives you are applying to people you don't know or understand.

Sure, some people want to get famous. Some people want to live luxurious and flamboyant lifestyles. But when they do, what happens to their work?

I just love the bit you added about "artists are theives" though. You seriously don't understand what it takes to create and invent. Tesla was an inventor. He wanted to invent devices that would give everyone free energy. Industry wouldn't allow it. And there are thousands of little stories like this along the way as industry has managed to corrupt and limit the efforts of empassioned individuals.

Once again, this article thread is about a guy who completely disproves the motives you are asserting.

Re:And this can't happen without capitalism! (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#44605945)

So you are projecting your own sense and presumption of greed onto other people you don't know?

I know I'm not a special snowflake and certainly no one in my highschool, so I find it reasonable to extrapolate it out.

You have clearly never been a creator before.

Now who is projecting? :)

Re:And this can't happen without capitalism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44609379)

Every time I hear someone say that artists won't create without being paid. That's a lie. It's the publishers who want to be paid. Artists just want to create and not die of starvation but artists don't need to be paid -- they can get jobs too.

Copyright defends artists from publishers. I just finished writing a 42,042 word science fiction novel. I started it in 2009. I could have done it in a couple of months if I didn't have to work every day. But copyright keeps others from printing and selling my book; how could I compete with Barnes and Noble? I would never sell a single copy, would never earn a single dime. I don't expect it to be a best seller or anything, but I do expect to sell a few copies. If there were no chance of being paid, it would still be the 20k word crude, rough draft posted in my /. journals.

That said, copyright terms are way too long. The length of copyright terms is a disincentive to further writing. IMO it should be the same a for a patent; imagine how technology would have stagnated if patents lasted as long as copyrights? That's how art is stagnating now. So the only people calling for their grandchildren to get royalties are the ones who no longer do much creating.

nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600297)

give this boy a hand

The inevitable next step... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600329)

Obligatory: Big Bang Theory [youtube.com]

You` FAIL It!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600425)

To the politically We get there with the aacounting how it waS supposed We strongly urge

I was invited for the NASA 3d printing thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600495)

I was invited for the NASA 3d printing thing as well. Lets just say the recruiter guy wanted me to pretty much work for free doing grunt work.
No thanks, what a crappy job. I guess for a 17 year old its better than flipping burgers.

Fu3ker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600549)

fucking confirmed: Bottoms butt. Wipe Then Jordan Hubbard though, I have to around are in need this is consistent to s]ay there have NIGGER ASSOCIATION Usenet is roughly a super-organised contaminated while so that you don't in a head spinning troubles of those you got there. Or good to write you bought the farm.... of progress. minutes now while noises out of the surprise to the consider worthwhile (Click Here

How Many Patents Did He Violate? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44600611)

That's the real question.

Don't link to IBTimes (2)

Ferrofluid (2979761) | about a year ago | (#44600797)

As commenters on the IB Times page have pointed out, the embedded video restarts when the page auto-refreshes. This ruins the viewing experience. I recommend watching the video directly on youtube [youtube.com] .

slashdot editors are retarded dumb animals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602311)

you're new here aren't you?

At least it's not about guns. (2)

mark_reh (2015546) | about a year ago | (#44600833)

I'm so sick of the press' obsession with 3D printed guns. Almost as sick as I am of my fellow American's infantile obsession with things that go "bang!". Maybe fireworks should be legalized everywhere so that people can get their dose of "bang!" without having to resort to flinging bits of metal through the air at lethal velocities.

Re:At least it's not about guns. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44600853)

Maybe fireworks should be legalized everywhere so that people can get their dose of "bang!" without having to resort to flinging bits of metal through the air at lethal velocities.

If modern fire management practices didn't boil down to "let's pretend that this will never, ever happen" then that might make sense. But instead of burning EVERYTHING regularly, we burn selective areas to try to make firebreaks, leading to massive buildup of combustibles. One thing the natives really had right in the American West was the yearly burning, which kept forests healthy without burning down by clearing the understory.

Wait a second (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#44601017)

Did he design it with 3d printing or did he use 3d printing to create it?

make up your mind

Hide painful truths. (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44601059)

STOP HIM! He didn't get medical approval from the FDA for even testing this!

JAIL NAO! Fines!

Those who want to mod me down, stop proving Ayn Rand's point. Not that anybody listens...or learn from sarcasm.

Re:Hide painful truths. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44609945)

Those who want to mod you down are doing so because you're incorrect. Someone else said something almost identical to what you just did, and was slapped down by someone else posting a quote and link to the actual law; -1 redundant, -1 overrated (wrong), -1 troll (stupid Rand worshiper) -1 immature ("NAO, WAY overrated even at zero.

Face it, punk, your comment is worthless.

smart guy, specially by comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601275)

I would be pretty offended if my name was replaced with my age.

Rolling Stone magazine should put him on the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44601523)

Rolling Stone put Tsarnaev on the cover after he took limbs away from people. Easton LaChappelle is working to give some sort of limbs back to people... I'd rather see him on the cover than Tsarnaev.

With =/= Using (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602119)

Bad headline.

Dimwit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44602423)

Shouldn't he be doing something constructive like designing handguns or landmines? What good are artificial limbs without an easy means of creating amputees?

design engineer will be a thing of the past (1)

chewie2010 (2551696) | about a year ago | (#44604195)

As an engineer I think this is a big step I have not seen before. With easy access to 3D cad and low price 3d printing hopefully the term design engineer will be a thing of the past. Normally this robot would have to be properly designed for injection molded and machined parts. With 3d printing all of those constraints go away. I would define my job as designing around the constraints of a particular manufacturing process. 3D printing has very little constraints and uses low energy. I think that is called empowerment even though that word is annoying.

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44605423)

Finally someone thought of something cool to print out on a 3D printer. I've been so bloody sick of hearing "I printed a gun with my 3D printer"

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?