18th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
KONDO Genta / YAMAURA Hiroshi / KONISHI Tetsuya [Japan]
handiii is a myoelectric prosthetic hand designed to offer flexibility and choice. Myoelectric bionic arms are prosthetics that people who have lost limbs can control intuitively through faint electrical signals (myoelectric) in the muscles, which are measured on the skin remaining on the arm. The technology has been around since prewar days but its extremely high cost has limited its penetration of the market. handiii uses a 3D printer and smartphone in order to keep the cost of the materials under 30,000 yen. Whereas previous bionic limbs would attempt to conceal the loss of the hand by imitating human skin in the design, handiii offers a choice of look to match the environment in which it is being used or the feelings of the user, just like a watch or sneakers. By adding extendibility through IC chips and microphones in the fingertips, handiii is a bionic arm that aspires to be the envy of a large number of people. It is currently being developed for commercialization in partnership with users.
Reason for Award
handiii is a myoelectric prosthetic hand and also a project engaging with artificial hands in general. By aiming for high functionality and performance, it succeeds in turning the bionic limb, usually heavy and expensive, into something lighter and easier to use. The parts are made using by a 3D printer and the electrical signals are read by a smartphone. The construction is minimal, stripping things down to the bare essentials. Not only lowering manufacturing costs, this also means individuals can repair and replace limbs themselves. The hand becomes more flexible and customizable; it can even function as a fashion item. Not simply enhancing bionics, it has flipped concepts around, turning a “weakness” into a strength, aiming to make something that can be freely utilized to interact with others. Rather than merely restoring what was lost, handiii makes it possible to have prosthetics with new functions. (Watch the video and you even start imagining things like “third arms”.) It indicates the potential for gadgets to be fun, as things beyond auxiliary devices. It’s exciting. (YONEMITSU Kazunari)