Rennes, was the city of my grandparents. It was a long time since I wanted to go and visit this city, but somehow never got the occasion. It is definitly a city worth more than a two days visit. I found it very charming, these little streets become very full of life.
On sunday morning it is very quiet and empty.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Nicolas Huchet, Bionico who was interested in developing a prosthetic hand based on InMoov.

I had been already asked for a few other projects of this sort, but was a bit reluctant to go along. The main reason is because InMoov isn’t conceived to be such device and could be a disappointment instead of something really helpful. It’s all plastic, even if ABS can be used in many devices, once 3d printed it isn’t has resistant as when it is injected. Also depending on how the hand is built and printed, the final product can be good or a bad.

I did explain most of my reluctance to him, but still he was ready to go on with the project.
Following this I got contacted by the LabFab of Rennes. As you maybe saw on youtube there is a InMoov builder, called Brancante, who’s been very involved into testing a prosthetic with InMoov.
Putting them in contact was a logic thing, and of course they shared their different results.

Region Bretagne organized this week-end a big event pretty much like a MakerFaire. Imagine, Construis. Since Nicolas Huchet was going to present his Open Source prosthetic project during this event, Hugues du FabLab invited me to join them for two days to present and work with them.
It was very interesting, I got to meet a lot of people, some part of the projectand some others just discovering it. During the event I did my first Round table based on the OpenHardware subject in company of Nicolas Huchet. Other guests were there, SnootLab, Mutable, John Lejeune, Jimmy P Rodgers.
Being most of the time a bear in it’s cave this was an interesting shot. Talking in a microphone to an assembly of people is something. I guess with practice it becomes easier with time.

Hughes had been, during the previous days, working on a first prototype which was a real DIY hand with cables and wires. I think somehow it made it even more interesting to people because of it’s intriguing appearance. Anyway the prosthetic was wired with myo electric sensors, and we got to test it on Nicolas. And it worked !
Of course the open close pattern movement was very simple and was working with a bit of latency.
Nylon threads used by Hugues were streatchable and thin, which didn’t allow any grabing of things, but think of it. The InMoov hand was printed in a few hours, then servos were added with cables and then all wired to the Arduino with sensors and that’s it.
I think if we work and develloppe the concept and design we can get a working Open source devise pretty fast, and transformable to particular needs. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not going to be as good as the ILimb, but it can be very helpfull for those who can’t afford to pay 25 000 euros for a prosthetic.
The Makerfaire Tour bus was in Rennes for the occasion, they did an interview about the project.
Since the Nederlands I hadn’t posted anything on my blog, because of a lack of time, but there has been a lot of things going on around InMoov though.
The major one, is the implementation of the i2C board in MyrobotLab by Grog. This is a major advancement because now I can hook up 16 extra servos per i2C board added to the Arduino.
So that means the eyes servos but also the jaw, and next the dorsale, hips, legs, feet.
It has been a 100% worky on the first test, Grog couldn’t believe it
Then another test we did with Grog and Alessandruino was to test remote controlling the robot through the internet. Imagine this, Grog being in the US took control of the InMoov gestures in my workshop in Paris France. Totally amazing to see !!
We tried the same thing wth Alessandruino but somehow it didn’t work. I think we had too many video instances working at the same time.
Next innovation, Jha in Australia has been working on a script to make the jaw work as the robot speaks. That’s also cool ! Just uploading the python script into MRL and the robots could repeat the prewrote sentence and having is jaw working in accordance. It isn’t perfect if you really focuse on the jaw, but once you get other body movements at the same time it is interesting. Some might see this as a bit uncanney. The script is available on MRL and I will make it available on the download tab.
Another new and interesting happening is, Leonardo from Italy who has been printing a super heroe InMoov 🙂 He has proposed to work on the transfer of the blog data to a real site, so for that matter I bought the domain name:
Thanks to donators we will be able to host the site and create something more conventional for us.

Comments 5

  1. I’ve been working on an industrial project where we needed both high speed and high force movement from a linear actuator – which is similar to one of the issues you mention with your finger.

    We have tried a number of solutions, the simplest being two motors. One a high torque gear-motor and the other direct drive connected together through a differential (constructed as a planetary gear set) then the two motors are connected electrically in series. The output of the differential (planetary sun gear) was connected to a ball-screw to give linear motion. In low torque situations, both motors run but the fast, low torque motor is dominant and the ball screw moves fast. When the torque increases, the fast motor slows and eventually stalls, delivering more current to the other motor and the differential allows it to move the ball screw slowly at high force.
    Although this sounds complicated, and maybe too much so to incorporate into a finger, it does allow a balance of force & speed difficult to achieve otherwise!
    On both motors, we used Cycloidial reductions which do not allow back-drive and are eminently 3D Printable!

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