Pepsi Refresh Submission

Please cast your vote for the CIR's Pepsi Refresh submission to Provide Cost-Effective Prosthetic Care in Underserved Midwestern Areas - Video for the submission is available at:

Topic by CIRnetwork 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Anti-Land Mine Robot

I have started design and concept design on a robot to mark (via GPS and UV paint) and destroy unexploded ordinance in Cambodia.  I am assembling teams for various aspects of the project (mechanical, electronics/power, practical application, coding and programming, construction, etc).  While many people have offered their experience and knowledge, the more people contributing can only benefit the end product.  This is not a money-maker, it's a life sustainer.  I'm looking for people who are interested in using their skills to better someone else's existence.   Though it is brand new, you can visit the project's blog at   All advice is welcomed.  Project updates will be regular. Thank you for your time, Huck

Topic by huck alexander 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

1st time robot. Too ambitious?

Hello All, I have recently started an ambitious project. There will certainly be much learning along the way.  But it is too ambitious? The goal is to build a bot that can be controlled remotely, to aid in the detection, marking, and ultimate removal of unexploded ordinance in Cambodia (in this first application).  Though I have never built a robot of any type, I am quickly learning the basics, but would like ultimate beginner advice if anyone had any.  If anyone would like details on the project, PM me.  It's really a lot for a forum post... If there are any Veterans or military buffs out there, I could really use other first hand accounts of experiencing UEO. Through generous donation and aquisition, I have come cross an electric wheelchair, and many parts needed for a former "Battle-Bot".  Battle-bot turns peace-maker.  I love it!  The motors are Bosche, 24V and ~750watts.  Included were DC motor (high amp) speed controls, and 2x 12v 26A sealed lead-acid batteries.  Very very excited to really dig in.  I lack a quality track or model of a good track to use for traction, etc.  Anyone know of any good and sturdy RC tank tracks I could look at for design or actual construction? Though I began to construct my own track out of sheet metal and various materials available (it actually turned out kinda ok), I don't intend on reinventing the wheel, as it were.  3" took me almost 2 hours. Will also be incorporating a ~3'-4' rotating and articulating arm.  Trying to keep its weight to under ~30lbs.  The wheelchair frame is very strong and moddable, Ws thinking of using a lazy susan type bearing, but I'm not sure I could find one rated for that weight for an affordable price.  Any suggestions? Thanks for checking this out.  Again, if you want more details, I'm happy to share my plans.  Just PM me. This is being designed 100% open-source, and 100% documented with a video and written journal in order to be easily duplicated.   Constructive criticism is NOT personal criticism! Huck

Topic by huck alexander 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago

Plastic Soda Bottle Prosthesis

Prosthethic arms for land-mine victims, etc. War, land mines, and natural disasters create far too many amputees each year, especially in the developing world.  Worse, prosthetic limbs are expensive and hard to come by.  The Center for International Rehabilitation, posting under Instructables username CIRNetwork, has been working to find sustainable solutions:  locally available materials worked by local craftsmen.   Their plastic soda bottle prosthesis is one clear, simple solution to this problem:  a plastic bottle is heat-shrunk to cover a plaster cast of the limb stump.  Different devices can be attached to the end of the bottle, enabling the wearer to perform basic daily tasks.  This type of thing can really make a difference.  Check out the video below, and see more on the CIRNetwork YouTube channel. Want to help?  CIR is seeking donations of mobility aids to support ongoing rehabilitation relief efforts in Haiti.  You can also make general donations to assist people with disabilities worldwide. This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Topic by canida 9 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago

Waterproof Prosthesis???

Hello Everyone, I just recently became a below elbow amputee. I don't even have my prothetic yet! But I was wondering if anyone knows of how I could make a body powered hook waterproof. I thought I could just replace all the parts with stainless steel (or any waterproof metal), but my prothetist says that none of the arm companies make those little components (at the end of the arm) in anything but steel. I even popped a question to a representative at Ossur to ask if their suspension sleeve came with stainless steel parts. He said only water 'resistant'. Anyway, I was wondering if I could get a metal shop to make the parts or if you guys knew of anyone who has tried a similar endeavour. If I was to take my soon to be prosthesis into water, I know it would rust and seize. I would have to return to the shop every few weeks. An idea I had was just to make a passive hook (captain hook style) but it would lose most of it's function. Any ideas??? Getting the parts in another metal seemed like a good idea to me, but I don't know what kind of shop would make custom metal pieces. P.S. If you're wondering what it is for, I use to kiteboard and sail and want to do it again.

Topic by Logan C 12 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago

Ship of Theseus - Philosophy of Identity

This past saturday there was a show on TV about the advancements in the field of prosthetics and human augmentation. I only watched less than half of it - but the timing was interesting. I came across an article about the Ship of Theseus (from Greek Legend) and have been reading quite a bit about "identity" and similar topics. This is philosophy - so there's really no right answer, but I have found it very interesting to think about and thought I'd share and see what others think.The gist of the story: Say we were to preserve Theseus' ship. As parts deteriorated and rotted away, we replace them with new (better/stronger) parts. Eventually, we replace each part with a new one. The question now is - Is it still the same ship? I'm willing to bet most of you will say yes.Now lets say that instead of replacing the ships components with new ones - we take all of the parts from the warehouse (where the parts are being stored) and reconstruct the ship from these new/better parts. Which ship has the "identity" of Theseus' ship? This is an interesting question because I'm again willing to bet that the "first" ship mentioned is your answer. But why? The parts would have gone to the "first" ship if not into the "second" ship. Why should this be different?Third Case:We take Theseus' ship and we tear it completely down in dry dock. In its place, we reconstruct using new parts. Is it still Theseus' ship?Now lets look at a digital device - my laptop for instance. Let us say that I have an "identical" machine (spec wise) and I cut and paste each file from this hard disk to the "new" machine. Does this "new" machine take the "identity" of the "old?" Can we say this "new" laptop (ship) is in fact Theseus' laptop? Talking with my colleagues - their answer (unanimously) was no - it is not the same.So here is where I get to the human side of things... Biological process have our bodies continuously replicating cells. In about a year, roughly 90% of the cells in your body will die. But no worries - they are continuously replaced with new ones. So, does that mean we are a different person compared to 12 months ago (I've read this question from several sources)? How about amputees? Today, prosthetic limbs can allow them to do what many of us choose not to do - run marathons. Are they any less of what they were before? <-- I know that sounds "wrong" - put put "political correctness" aside (but by no means am I putting down the situation of an amputee).Again, I'm willing to bet many will say yes - we're the same person. One argument is that our memories make our "identity." Fair enough. Now lets entertain the future. We now have the technology to save your memories digitally. We can digitize the human brain preserving its intelligence and thinking ability. Just entertain this idea for a few minutes. So if my brain (and its memories) are now digital and I copy it to another vessel. Is it still me? Do "I" still have the same identity? I'd like to think yes, but what was your answer about copying a laptop's memory (was it no - they are not the same)? Why should my digitized memories be any different than that of a laptop's digitized memory?At this point, my colleagues were floored. They figured out where I was going a few sentences before I said it. That's what makes the topic so interesting (in my opinion).If anyone has ever heard of HAL-5 - you already know what a feat it is. HAL-5 (yes, that's a play off of a space odyssey) is a human exoskeleton designed to assist those whom otherwise would be unable to walk for long periods of time. The user can lift heavy weights (80kg - say a dishwasher) among other helpful tasks. How does it know to move? Sensors on the skin detect electrical impulses in the brain that tell the muscle to react. Those signals are processed and turned into mechanical motion. All of this happens before the muscles have time to move. That is, the machine is moving before you even do.So if we replace our bodies and even our nervous system with mechanical devices - what makes us the same person? AND, are we the same person if we can simply copy ourselves to a new body?So last point - and it's not even my own. One of my colleagues brought this to the table today (literally at the lunch table) :P We were talking about the advancements and the potential/reality of human augmentation. Then he says something that makes complete sense to me. He said that we are at the point where our brain is evolving at a rate faster than our human bodies are. Just give yourself a minute to contemplate and wrap your head around the potential of that statement. To a degree - we have already done this (just not internally). Why else would we fly in a plane or drive a car? Well, I for one sure can't fly or run at 70+mph.1. I apologize for the length.2. I'm curious of your thoughts -- if you have another aspect of this, please do post.3. Remember there is no "correct" answer, this is just philosophy.4. There will always be more question than answers on this subject (at least I think so).HAL-5: (mountain climb):

Topic by trebuchet03 12 years ago  |  last reply 12 years ago

A kind request: Google Science fair vote

I recently entered my Science Fair project in the Google Science Fair, an international science competition in which entrants can build, research, discover etc. anything they want to. For my entry, I researched on how prosthetic limbs can be controlled by thought alone and found that much of the mathematical analysis of the brainwave data had to be improved upon in order to make such a technology usable. Here is a brief synopsis, in case you were interested: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My project is, at its most general level, based upon the idea of the brain-computer interface.In this sense of the definition, anything we use to interact with machines is a brain-computer interface, including our fingers. However, amputees often face difficulties after the loss of such a vital method of interaction. Through research, I found that a current medical device, the Electroencephalograph (EEG) could be implemented as a direct brain-machine interface; in other inputs on a computer (such as a cursor) could potentially be operated by thought alone. However, I also learned that, although EEG technology has been in existence since circa 1920, it still suffers from the age-old problems of signal filtration and desired feature extraction. This means that current signal processing algorithms are not able to interpret the electrical signals exhibited by neuronal synapses very efficiently, thus making such an interface wholly impractical and inaccurate. My project sought to rectify this through the creation of custom signal processing scenarios that utilized new algorithms; specifically, the use of Linear Discriminant Analysis and Vector quantization compression/extraction methods for enhanced noise filtration and the removal of known artifacts (sources of electricity other than the brain, such as muscles). However, I decided it was not enough to run software simulations; to determine its true real-world applicability, I used a 14- channel EEG neuroheadset to gather electrical data from my own brain. I then built a prototype robotic arm with an onboard processor that would translate signals from the computer. Finally, I used the programs I created to "decipher" the incoming brainwave signals, and send corresponding messages to the robotic limb. I concluded that, by using my programs to perform the signal processing, I was able to increase the accuracy of detected brainwave patterns by about 16%. Although this may not seem like much, the brain processes hundreds of thousands of ideas simultaneously, and recognizing patterns requires a great deal of processing effort on the part of the computer. Finally, I reached an accuracy of about 91.35% using the programs I created. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Further in-depth details can be seen here: Recently, after submitting my project, I was notified that I was one of the 60 semifinalists world-wide; as part of the judging process, there is also an award called the "People's Choice Award." Essentially, the public goes online and votes once in each of the 3 age groups (13-14, 15-16, 17-18) for the project they believe is the best. I am kindly asking if you would consider voting for my project for this award; I believe this project holds many potential applications in the real world other than prosthetics alone; such technology could be effectively utilized by patients with paraplegia, paralysis, or even polio. The voting process is simple: 1. Go the Google Science Fair Voting website: (for my project) 2. Click the "vote" button in the upper right-hand corner Again, thank you for your time and consideration of my project, Anand S

Topic by tech industries 7 years ago