Picture of Mechanical Hand
My most successful project to date. And I have learned that it is fun to have another hand! Not to mention that its great in costumes and gives a great deal more mileage than any other costume props I have made. In total I believe this project took less than 20 hours (once parts were assembled) and cost under $40 (the springs were expensive!).

I have now begun a more advanced version of the hand which will be larger, have more accurately scaled dimensions, better aesthetics, and, best of all, digit movement from side to side as well as both front and back. It may be quite some time before completion though. 

Before you start, let me note that I made a left hand because I am right handed and wanted the ability to retain dexterity for everyday tasks while I was wearing the hand.

Also, credit where it is due, I designed this hand after viewing the most superb hand built by Aternox over at DeviantArt, and it seems I am not the only one, as a quick poke around DA shows.

This project is becoming more common so look around the web for variants and different styles. Another of my favorites (besides Aternox's) is beautifully made by IAteSatan also over at DA.

EDIT: A short video of the hand in motion can be seen here. I apologize for the poor quality - when I have some time I will try to record and upload a higher quality video.
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bctour71 year ago

I think the best wire to use for this application is piano wire. You can get it in lots of different sizes and even the thinnest is going to be stronger than you could break using it like this. Pretty reasonable cost too.

mwilliam21 year ago

i made this myself, i based it off of your idea but not completly, i made each individual finger from a plank of wood and i also made the thumb apposable like our actual thumbs, im very happy with how it turned out but i plan on improving it. Thank You for the idea!

This is awesome, I've wanted to do one for a long time,I haven't looked much and you may have addressed this already, but a cheap alternative to expensive springs is to get them from clicking pens, they may not work as well but they're essentially free, just a thought. But again, awesome instructable, loved it!
endou1 year ago
i did it!!!!! it is awesome!!! thanks mate, it is really cool
mdoe8251 year ago

just what we need for our odyssey of the mind skit. the best - Islands High School going to world 2014

RedE-61 year ago
A great instructable! well done! I have made one of these myself with a slightly different design: - I suggest you move the thumb to a more sideways position, like a humans, study your own! - You could also connect the thumb string to the first finger string, as it is hard to manoeuvre your thumb to pull the string. - Plus, instead of the 'expensive' springs you could use elastic, as its much cheaper and loads easier to assemble!
j-vega1 year ago
En Dabuwya2 years ago
How difficult would it be to scale this up to control a mechanical hand larger than your own?
Manick Yoj (author)  En Dabuwya2 years ago
Quite simple within a limited scale I would imagine - the pull-rings on the glove for mine were quite close to the base of my fingers and could still pull the mechanical fingers all the way in. If you moved the pull-rings farther out along your hand, you should be able to get a great deal more distance out of it. If you want to go bigger than that, you may need a mechanical system like a lever or simple pulley (and if you're building a hand big enough to need that, it may even fit).
this would make an awesome buttscratcher
ajkcool2 years ago
looks like part of the handyman from bioshock infinite
Good to see I'm not the only one who immediately thought that
kschmidt22 years ago
ajkcool2 years ago
this looks like something from the handyman on bioshock infinite
hahns2 years ago
Great work!
One thing I'd suggest is to re-route the wiring for the thumb to the other side (near the heel of the palm) and rehinge the joint so that it can function better as a thumb.
karossii hahns2 years ago
That was my first thought as well; by angling it over and down to the base of the palm beneath the pinky, then wrapping it to the back of the 'arm' stick, it could both articulate more like a real thumb, and be activated by a more natural (inward, not downward) thumb action.
Manick Yoj (author)  karossii2 years ago
This is true - I am working on making a more sophisticated opposable thumb on my current model but its still mostly in ideas/sketches.

If I rearranged the hinging of the thumb I could run the wire as you have described however, there is a great deal of friction on severe wire angles (as i found from an original wiring layout), so tilting the wire back from near the pinky to the glove would be very hard to activate.
What kind of gloves are they? That style of glove looks really good but i can't seem to find them anywhere.
Slay.2 years ago
Epic ible. together with another ible on giant costume making, planning to make giant robot costume with working heads up display!
Enkil2 years ago
If you do not mind, we have translated this manual in the Russian language and posted on its website.
A reference to the original course set
Thank you, gorgeous work!
Manick Yoj (author)  Enkil2 years ago
Haha, that is fine, though surprising. Thank you for the translation!
TeslaBoy2 years ago
Cool looks a lot like my pneumatic hand I did for last years science fair
using copper pipe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6DINbBOg74
Man, that looks like some kind of medieval torture device haha
That is so awesome yet super freaky looking.

Maybe a great slenderman costume piece? Yay? Nay?
dreame952 years ago
how much did this cost to make
Manick Yoj (author)  dreame952 years ago
I already had the wood. The remaining componentry cost me about $50. The sprockets I got for free from a bike shop (they'd been discolored by the parts washer).
kberch2 years ago
Can you make a list of the tools needed?
heathbar642 years ago
This is very very cool.
At one time I had in mind making a long handled grabber with individual fingers like this. I planned to make the finger pivots in the middle of the joint instead of the inside as you have done. that would allow me to run the wires inside the fingers and therefore not interfere with it's actual use of grabbing stuff way down deep in the dumpster
yakumokobe2 years ago
Pfarmkid2 years ago
If you cut holes at the wrist you could make it so you can have two right hands!

nice 'ible
hmmmmmmm just say "nice................"
joostm82 years ago
This is just awesome,this hand would be perfect if you wanted to make a "Handyman" costume (Bioshock infinite)
Manick Yoj (author)  joostm82 years ago
I am really looking forward to that game. Never played bioshock 2, but I did love the first and I am pumped for infinite. I've considered a costume of that bent. Lots and lots of work certainly, but it would be very fun to build.
I can assure you bioshock 2 is a really good game, and I'm hoping infinite's going to be even better.
Kiteman2 years ago
Oh, that's lovely!

Please post a video of it - I'd love to see it actually move, and to hear all those joints in action!
Manick Yoj (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Acckkk turns out I have misplaced my older video. I will make a new one. May be a few more days though.
Manick Yoj (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
I will! It might take me a day or so, but I'll get one up. And yes, it does make noise! Wires creaking and such, mostly.
this... this just looks beautiful....
billbillt2 years ago
Very Cool...The problem with the copper was it cannot be flexed or will break..Maybe small diameter braided wire cable??...Can get for free from discarded bicycle cables..
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