DIY Desktop Robotic Dexterity With The Youbionic Human Arm

By on October 11th, 2019 in Design

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 The Youbionic Human Arm [Image: Youbionic] The Youbionic Human Arm [Image: Youbionic]

Following years of development, the 3D printed Youbionic Human Arm is finally available.

3D printing and prosthetics often go, forgive the pun, hand in hand. The technology is able to create intricate geometries such as those found in human anatomy, and one major benefit of 3D printing is that prosthetics can be made at a lower cost than conventional processes. Files can also be scaled up as children grow, keeping costs down for the inevitable replacements needed over a human lifetime. Such devices can also be made without the intent for personal wear, such as we’re seeing in this particular case.

Youbionic has been at work for some years now in a fascinating project spearheaded by founder Federico Ciccarese. We most recently caught up with him last year for an update on a “more bionic future.”

This week I was pleased to hear from Ciccarese with an update: the Youbionic Human Arm is now available.

Youbionic Human Arm

Unlike many prosthetics we see, this arm is a “robotic desktop arm.”

It operates from the desktop. Per Youbionic, usage can include:

  • You can have it work in a workspace to perform routine tasks.

  • To experiment with artificial intelligence applications.

  • You can assemble it on a rover and control it remotely.

“From today it is possible to place these arms on worktops and make them interact with each other to make them remotely or autonomously controlled with AI, the creativity of the developers will reveal the infinite potential of these devices,” Ciccarese tells us.

“With Human Arm it is possible to develop robotics skills necessary to be competitive for the jobs of the future.”

The Human Arm is quite versatile — and quite dextrous. You can see some of its range of movement and dexterity in a nice robotic dance:

The device was “inspired by the structure of the human body and programmed the movements to be fluid and natural,” Ciccarese explains. It was also designed to offer high-level robotics at affordable prices:

“We designed and developed a bionic device with unlimited motion potential, and we did it with accessible components that contained the cost. Nothing ever seen before.”

Getting The Arm

The Human Arm is a bit of a project, intended for those with an interest in robotics — and some DIY.

Costs are pretty well contained, indeed. This is significantly helped along because of the arm’s 3D printed nature: you can 3D print it yourself, or order the 3D printed components from a service bureau. On the Youbionic website, this is itemized as:

  • 3D Printing Files [priced at $97 currently on the Youbionic site, down from a standard $249]

  • 3D printing parts at home ($20) or in online service ($70)

  • No11 SG90 Servomotors ($20) for Handy

  • No2 MG996R Servomotors ($15)

  • No2 DS3225 Servomotors ($35)

  • No7 Bearing 8x19x6 ($10)

  • No2  Arduino Nano ($20)

  • No2 Breadboard 170 Points ($3)

  • Jumpers ($2)

That adds up to just $222 if you 3D print the parts yourself, or $272 for using an online service. A sub-$300 functioning robotic arm is a pretty remarkable achievement.

Downloading the print files includes everything you need to know to assemble the Human Arm — a process Youbionic assures us is easy. Files include:

  • 3D Printing Parts of the Human Arm and Handy

  • Handbook to assemble it

  • Arduino Code

  • Technical Drawing

  • Wiring Diagram

  • Media

I’m very interested to hear how this project progresses now that it’s available for purchase. Interested in DIY robotics? Give us a shout if you check out the Youbionic Human Hand.

Via Youbionic

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.