IIT-Bombay Techfest: Frenchman uses 3D technology to create ‘inexpensive’ artificial bionic prosthesis

Nicolas Huchet is at present in Mumbai for the three-day IIT-Bombay Techfest.

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | Mumbai | Published: January 3, 2015 3:44:04 am
IIT Bomaby, Nicolas Huchet Students check out a 3D printed life-size robot during the three-day fest. (Source: Express Photo By Vasant Prabhu)

For Nicolas Huchet, who lost his right arm in an accident 12 years ago, technology helped provide a solution through which he now aims to help others like him.

The French national has created an artificial bionic prosthesis using 3D technology, which according to him “is a cheaper option that can be put together by anyone’’.

Huchet is at present in Mumbai for the three-day IIT-Bombay Techfest, which began on Friday.

“The artificial bionic prosthesis has been made using 3D technology with the help of the design specifications available in open source format. The idea behind this is that anyone who cannot afford a prosthesis can use Fab laboratory (fabrication laboratories which offer space for digital fabrication) to create this product,” said Huchet.

A sound technician by profession, he discovered fab labs in his city in 2012 and started work on finding solutions, which could make life simpler for arm amputees. “With this prototype, I can shake hands, have a glass of water etc. We are at present working on a modified version of this prosthesis,’’ he said, while shaking hands with people who stop by his exhibition space. Santosh Yadav, who lost both his arms, sees hope in this technology as he interacts with Huchet and shares his story.

Alongside Nicolas is Gael Langevin, who created InMoov, the first life-size humanoid robot. “I got a 3D printer two-and-a-half years ago. I started experimenting and came up with this concept,’’ said Langevin, who is a sculptor by profession.

“At home, I used the 3D printer to download and reproduce parts for the robot. This technology can be replicated by anyone at home or school. The robot has loudspeakers to speak and has sensors on its fingertips. The robot can talk, move, look and follow objects,’’ he added.

InMoov was initiated in January 2012. He has no real robotic engineering experience. “I am still working on this project. Its legs still have to be added. I keep adding parts and continue to learn along the way,’’ he said, as he commanded the robot to grab a small rubber ball he threw at it.


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