Here are some articles I found on them:
Limbs project FAQ: https://www.facebook.com/notes/1035463880210146/
 http://www.ginotubaro.com/ (In Spanish - no HTTPS) | https://emergeamericas.com/agenda/speakers/gino-tubaro (no official but in English)
But that it's actually done and used tells a lot (of negatives) about healthcare tech.
Of course, a lot of articles like these are by US people, where finding the money for a commercial prosthetic is much more difficult. Can you get anything from health insurance if you don't have a job (because you're missing a limb)?
The reality is that lots of people find prosthetics, both commercial, and DIY... deeply unsatisfying . But people who don't use them think some of them look cool, so at least that's something.
Do you mean that in the sense that healthcare tech has been slow to move in terms of making advanced bionics available to the public that needs them? My general impression would make me agree, although bionic prosthetics have gotten way better in recent years. Simultaneously, it all seems like tech that could have been available decades prior.
1) Incredibly expensive, but if you have insurance that pays for it, amazing.
2) DIY hobby projects that are "good enough" to still have incredibly profound impacts on peoples' lives. They aren't particularly costly, but only available if you're lucky enough to know someone with those skills.
I know it's not a trivial problem, but it seems like we should be able to mass-produce the "good enough" version and make them widely available at an accessible cost.
Having a working prototype with a technician on hand means you’re only about 10% of the way to having a mass-producible product though
A couple of weeks ago I listened to a talk by Clifford Agius (https://twitter.com/CliffordAgius) who is 3d printing App-enabled bionic arms. Pretty incredible stuff - I think he'd got startup costs <£1000 and per-arm costs around £5-600. ALl using open hardware/software.
Sadly there is literally nothing online I can find about it other than this post: https://www.cliffordagius.co.uk/post/findingand3dprintingaha...
(He's also a commercial pilot, as you do)
My hope is that prosthesis tech and robot tech converge. If we can make really good artificial limbs, cheaply, we can not only help people who are missing natural limbs, but we can, ya know, train them to fold laundry or assemble iPhones.
The field will take off in a big way when someone designs an arm that can play a large role in fabricating and assembling an arm like it.
Prosthetics are a bad fit for our current industry as they need to be customized for each wearer.
Lego is quite intuitive to understand, most wearer could adjust their prosthetics themselves, or make extensions.
I wish we had more "legos but for real projects". Is it LEGO technic? Aluminium profiles come close, but the ecosystem is jus way smaller, and not really compatible between brands. OpensourceEcology (https://www.opensourceecology.org/) has been making interesting progress in that direction, but I don't know what scale they embrace modularity at.
Bricks are either expensive or require very long wait cycles to get the right parts from remote vendors (mostly China). They are also relatively big, which makes tight builds difficult, and they require a decent amount of expertise and building technique to make anything non trivial (that’s putting aside the mechanical knowledge that would be need whatever the material used).
For purely mechanical prosthetics it’s less of an issue, but adding electronics is also a PITA if size/weight matters in any way.
As an example, this youtube channel (https://youtube.com/c/BrickExperimentChannel) has some pretty advanced builds, and it often comes down to bricks as a frame/skeleton, and custom parts for the critical core.
In comparison 3d printing has a way higher upfront learning curve, but the people trying to build these contraption aren’t doing it for fun and would arguably be motivated to invest time and effort to make things better in the long run (they’d have to do it anyway even with bricks).
However Shapeways/Thingiverse/etc will print from a large library of models and ship it.
I suspect the big issue is the custom fitting.
Assuming a standardised approach to custom fitting exists then standard models could be made available for purchase without insane amounts of effort.
The fact someone is making prosthetics out of lego strongly suggests that such a standardised approach exists.
Then again, I'm the type who doesn't refer to Linux distros as "GNU/Linux". ;)
Legos sounds like the parent that says his child is playing on the Nintendos.
It is like saying you watch animes instead of anime. Plural is still anime.
When in doubt, just follow the source language for pluralization.
"Nintendos" sounds weird to me because for me a "Nintendo" is a console, and I rarely use more than one of those at the same time.
When you say "Legos" on the other hand I interpret it as an abbreviation of something like Lego bricks.
> It is like saying you watch animes instead of anime. Plural is still anime.
"Animes" on the other hand sounds perfectly fine. We don't conjugate borrowed verbs in a different way either just because the source language has different rules for conjugation; the English borrowing of irregular plural forms is a special case which doesn't work with anime too well since an irregular plural form does not actually exist (as with most Japanese nouns). Not to mention the word is an abbreviation of "animation", another English word with a perfectly normal plural form.
(I also say "animes" and "pokemons", but if I'm being honest those two are mostly just to get a rise out of the sort of people who would complain about that. I suspect most parents who say "nintendos" are similarly smirking when they say it, since the "NoooOOooo Dad that's not right!" responses are just too amusing.)
I hope LEGO subsidizes this guy's endeavor.
But if you've ever handled those, you know why lego is still the brand to go for. Their quality and precision is still unparalleled. And given they're established, have a lot of their own IPs and licenses for big hollywood productions, and have their production lines set up and tweaked over a seventy year period, it's unlikely that there will be a serious competitor anytime soon.
Arguable the Polish company COBI offers higher quality than Lego. The pieces stick together much stronger and they are known for using prints instead of stickers for details on the models.
The Chinese competition is getting quite close as well and newer models might have closed the gap already.
Of course what is keeping Lego alive is licenses. If you what to own a officially licensed Start Wars set, you have to buy Lego. Though the prices are getting ridiculous.
Maybe that can help him :)
He's also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/handsolooficial
"Building a Prosthetic Arm With Lego" -