Functionalize Weekly News Roundup 6/1-6/7

3D printed drone with electronics embedded within
3D printed drones have been around for a while, but University of Texas at El Paso has printed some custom-designed drones with a technique that seals electronic wires and components in with the print. Through a formalized process of stopping their print at the right time to incorporate wires and electronic components, then resuming to close everything up, they’re printing seamlessly manufactured devices that work right off the printer. While their process involves some manual work, they’re getting promising results, and we always like to see people 3D printing electronics.

A big advantage of 3D printing custom drones is the speed gains of going from concept to a purpose built drone. Instead of taking weeks to design, order parts, and build, their drone designs can be 3D printed on the spot in a matter of hours! Also, as with other 3D printed objects, working designs are flexible and could be modified at any time to serve changing needs. Who’s up for designing an F-Electric drone?
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3dprinted drone

3D printed temperature sensitive prosthetic
Although, 3D printing has helped a lot of people with a better fit and inexpensive, customized prosthetics, their senses are still missing. Students at Nankai University in China created a temperature-sensitive hand to solve some of that problem. The prosthetic controls contraction and movement of its mechanical fingers by micro-control panels and micro-servos. Each time it interacts with heat above a certain temperature, the index finger’s temperature sensor sends a signal to the micro-control panel, its grip immediately loosens, and the individual gets a non-painful shock. The higher the temperature, the stronger the signal. This way an amputee can “feel” the temperature on their custom fitted prosthetic as healthy people would and could avoid related injuries. The device is now in debugging and testing mode and could soon improve many people’s lives.
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A prosthetic controlled by your brainwaves
Another interesting prosthetic was developed by a 19-year old, Easton LaChappelle. The prosthetic, which Easton calls Anthromod, reads about 10 signals from your brain, picks them up, tracks patterns using special algorithms, and converts them into movements. A user can completely control the prosthetic in about 10 minutes. Anthromod costs approximately $600 to make and it is fully open source.
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