ADAPTA is an research blog that focuses on the interdisciplinary intersection of projects and phenomena that have the potential to change and improve something, anything, everything.
This project emerges form the conviction that design is action.
A prosthetic hand designed for people with missing fingers has been made available to download from the 3D-printing design database Thingiverse (+ movie).
Dubbed Robohand, the prosthesis was conceived by Richard Van As, a South African carpenter who lost four fingers from his right hand in a work accident.
He got in touch with Ivan Owen, a mechanical props designer from the USA, and the pair designed a set of mechanical fingers printed from plastic with a Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer, donated by Makerbot.
“[The Makerbot] dramatically increased the speed at which we could prototype and try out ideas, and gave us the ability to both hold a physical copy of the exact same thing, even though we were separated by 10,000 miles,” says Van As in the movie.
They then tried making a complete hand for a child with amniotic band syndrome, a condition that causes babies to be born with missing or severely shortened fingers.
The resulting Robohand is worn around the wrist and lower arm like a gauntlet and driven by the motion of the wrist.
Bending the wrist forwards causes the cabling to pull the fingers closed, while moving it back releases the fingers.
The digits, knuckle block and wrist hinges are all printed by the Makerbot and joined by cabling and stainless steel bolts, all of which are easy to find and replace.
Prototypes of the Robohand in different sizes
“With the Makerbot, as [the child] grows, all we do is scale it up and print him another one, and the hardware just gets taken from that and put on the new hand,” explains Van As, adding that old hands can then be reused by other children.
Created at the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, The Silk Pavilion explores the relationship between digital and biological fabrication on product and architectural scales. The primary structure was created of 26 polygonal panels made of silk threads laid down by a CNC (Computer-Numerically Controlled) machine, followed by a swarm of 6,500 silkworms spinning flat non-woven silk patches as they locally reinforced the gaps across CNC-deposited silk fibers.
Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to generate a 3D cocoon out of a single multi-property silk thread (1km in length), the overall geometry of the pavilion was created using an algorithm that assigns a single continuous thread across patches providing various degrees of density. Overall density variation was informed by the silkworm itself deployed as a biological “printer” in the creation of a secondary structure.
Affected by spatial and environmental conditions including geometrical density as well as variation in natural light and heat, the silkworms were found to migrate to darker and denser areas. Desired light effects informed variations in material organization across the surface area of the structure. A season-specific sun path diagram mapping solar trajectories in space dictated the location, size and density of apertures within the structure in order to lock-in rays of natural light entering the pavilion from South and East elevations. The central oculus is located against the East elevation and may be used as a sun-clock. Parallel basic research explored the use of silkworms as entities that can “compute” material organization based on external performance criteria. Specifically, we explored the formation of non-woven fiber structures generated by the silkworms as a computational schema for determining shape and material optimization of fiber-based surface structures.
Within few months, if the sculpture was left as is, moths can produce 1.5 million eggs with the potential of constructing up to 250 additional pavilions.
Research and Design by the Mediated Matter Research Group at the MIT Media Lab in collaboration with Prof. Fiorenzo Omenetto (TUFTS University) and Dr. James Weaver (WYSS Institute, Harvard University).
Maltese Cross study series. Surface morphologies vary in sectional height from 0 (flat) to 25mm beyond which a 3D cocoon is spun. Variations in surface morphology yield corresponding variations in fiber density, property and overall organization.
Analysis through testing the variation in 3-Dimensionality of the Bombyx mori‘s spinning environment from 2D to increasingly 3D.
riding tandem on a bicycle is a great joy made difficult by the single-service design of the pedal-driven vehicle. often the weight of an additional passenger creates balance issues, rooted in the a less-than-optimal positioning of the foot pedals. estonian company vigurvant’s ‘tandem extension bicycle pedal’ is a stainless steel device that works in two positions; one as a closed normal pedal and the other open so that the tandem rider can assist in cycling.
in the most recent medical development in artificial organ creation, a team of scientists and physicians from cornell university have engineered 3D printed life-like ears used to treat children born with a congenital deformity called microtia, or help individuals who have lost part or all of their external ear in an accident or from cancer. the artificial body tissue is made by processing additive gels found within living cells - with collagen derived from rat tails and cartilage taken from cow ears.
the modelling process is digitized into an assemble-able human ear, where then high-density gel, similar to the consistency of jell-o is injected into a mold - resulting in flesh resembling that of a human-being. in the future, the engineers will look at new ways to develop populations of human ear cartilage cells from patients instead of cow cartilage, which would reduce any possibility of rejection.
lawrence bonassar, associate professor of biomedical engineering adds: ‘it takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel, and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later. we trim the ear and then let it culture for several days in nourishing cell culture media before it is implanted.’
It uses a slim, low-power sleeve with a couple of electrodes on the back to provide clinical-quality cardiac event readings. You can either hold it in your hands to get a reading of your pulse, or place it on your chest which makes it useful when dealing with a patient who can’t hold it themselves. The sleeve also works wirelessly with the iPhone 4, most likely via Bluetooth, and since it looks like it doesn’t attach to the dock connector I suspect you could get a reading even if you weren’t using it as a sleeve. The iPhonECG will be officially shown at CES next week, and we’ll do our best to hunt it down and get a hands-on. (via Lifetone Technology’s iPhonECG | OhGizmo!)
The patient looks into a small lens and uses the phone’s buttons to adjust the position of sets of parallel green and red lines until they just overlap. This ‘test’ is done eight times for each eye, with the lines at different angles, and once completed an app on the phone analyzes the results and provides a prescription, all in about 2 minutes. Here’s Professor Raskar’s explanation of how and why the system works. (via MIT’s Media Lab Develops A Quick, Cheap Cellphone-Based Alternative For Eye Tests | OhGizmo!)
’liquiglide’ is a design for a bottle that is coated in an FDA-approved substance, so that ketchup (and other condiments for that matter) just slides right out when you tilt the bottle - no smacking required. the team would like to introduce the ‘super slippery’ substance to numerous other bottles, as it works with many types
of packaging such as glass, plastic and can also be applied in any number of ways, including spraying the coating onto the inside of vessel.
There was once a middle ground, remembers Braben. The Apple II, Acorn Electron, and BBC Micro from the early 1980s required a little programming to make the most of them. If that peek behind the curtain interested kids, they were free to explore everything else the computers could do. Raspberry Pi hopes its machine can fill this role and renew interest in creative programming, especially among low-income families that couldn’t afford a computer otherwise. The prototype distills hardware into the essentials. It has a powerful processor similar to those in high-end smart phones, a memory card reader for 32 gigabytes of storage, a screen connector ready for HD graphics, and up to three USB ports for a keyboard and other accessories.
Glowing walls, windows and furniture will replace light bulbs and LEDs in homes as OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology improves, according to Dietmar Thomas of Philips Lumiblade ( movie). “Just imagine windows where transparent OLEDs are integrated,” says Thomas. “During the day the sun shines into the room and at night you’re not switching on the ceiling lamp or the wall lamp, you’re switching on the window.” The low working temperature of OLEDs - around 30 degrees centigrade - mean that lighting source can be integrated into furniture, Thomas says, and even painted onto walls. “OLED will open up completely new ways where light can be introduced to the customer,” Thomas says. “In the far future, say five or 10 years or so, you’ll paint the wall with a colour with OLEDs mixed into it, so when you apply a current, the whole wall lights up.”
The structure pictured below is a “microscopic pyramid,” New Scientist explains, “a cage for a living cell, constructed to better observe cells in their natural 3D environment, as opposed to the usual flat plane of a Petri dish.” (via BLDGBLOG: The Cell and the Pyramid)
Using the iPhone’s built-in three-dimensional accelerometer, swiss designer florian kräutli has developed an application that translates vibrations from different surfaces caused by tapping. reflected onto a paper keyboard as guidelines, the app is then calibrated using special software, where a program generates a series of defined patterns using the frequencies collected from the data. from this, each different vibration is then converted as a simulated key press on the ‘invisible keyboard’.
florence-based belgian designer jens praet has sent designboom his latest collection of shredded magazine furniture - to be unveiled at design miami.
the series was developed in collaboration with the publication elle decor, where kilos of the glossy leftover magazines were transformed into a mass of splintered paper - making up the main ingredients for the set. the pieces are a reaction to the vast amounts of wastepaper produced in offices - converting otherwise useless documents into valuable and useful objects.
in order for the material to fuse into a useable compound, the confetti-like mixture was met with resin, moulded, and allowed to harden - producing a firmness similar to wood and a peppery aesthetic. all pieces were manufactured by dutch company wandschappen for studio jens praet.
a new system has been developed to eliminate the need of air in bike tires, while still preventing the common occurrence of punctures, tube replacements, even pressure checks. the ‘energy return wheel’ concept by colorado-based designer brian russell demonstrates the possibilities of advanced wheel technologies.
instead of air, it uses rubber stretched over a series of carbon nano tube reinforced composite rods to provide its cushioning. these rods can be adjusted, changing the tension of the rubber to suit different types of terrain, improves flexing and recoil cycling. with the intention of reducing weight, a 29er wheel made from carbon fiber is incorporated. further improvements include the possibilities of implementing a thin sidewall to keep mud and trail debris out for a more consistent ride.