By: Les Hall
Imagine that you become paralyzed or otherwise disabled so that you can no longer do most things for yourself. Robots that perform tasks for you do exist, however they are expensive to purchase and maintain. It would be nice if simplified low-cost robots were available through some kind of volunteer network. Sound familiar? Sure it does; that is a big part of what we e-NABLE volunteers do. We take the cost out of devices with maker-friendly designs that are easy to build and assemble, then offer them free to people with limb differences. That is what I am trying to do as a designer.
I have created a rotating base that picks up food from a specially-shaped bowl and presents it to the eater. The reaching, spinning arm is still under construction. Other special-purpose robots are planned, including a robot arm that attaches to this rotating base to perform tasks like pushing buttons or turning keys. Here is a video of my current design:
e-NABLE has been branching out in many ways, and this is another of them. Personally, I have been inactive for the past year except for this and one other robot design. I am eager to get back involved so this robot can be tested by makers and recipients to become a free open source design as part of the e-NABLE device offerings. If you would like to join me in this effort I’d be happy to share the latest design files with you (deltaModulator@gmail.com).
——————-This article is an original “The Scrappy Cyborg” e-NABLE Newsletter publication——————-