A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
What is the Third Thumb Project?
The Third Thumb is a design project exploring human extension, prosthetics and robotics. It enables a better understanding of connecting technology to the body through a hands on experience.
The Third Thumb is a work in progress, it is at a stage in its development that I need people to contribute to help further the design. I want you to experience the strange behaviours it creates and explore the different situations it can be used in.
The Third Thumb originated as a project to better understand prosthetics; by understanding what it is like to control robotics and prosthetics from alternative points in our biological bodies, we can begin to understand the challenges and interesting insights on a design level, faced by people in the prosthetics community. This can generate a better understanding of prosthetic design.
It’s a prosthetic, but not medical prosthetic. The Third Thumb is for anyone interested in exploring movement and connection of technology to the body. It’s a part of a process to better understand prosthetics and wearables. The origin of the word prosthesis means to ‘add on’. We need to see prosthetics as technology that aids and extends, not fixes or replaces. The Third Thumb project aims to expand the positive perception of prosthetics through experience, and also have a bit of fun.
Why is the Third Thumb on Kickstarter?
I am crowdfunding for two reasons; firstly, I need some support to progress this project to the next stage, and secondly I need some awesome people to wear the Third Thumb, to explore what is does and doesn't do, weird behaviours it creates, and the connection formed between the wearer and the prosthetic.
I want to find like-minded people anywhere in the world, who are just as interested in this as I am. I would like to create a community of people in different environments, that would be willing to receive Third Thumbs and feedback and discuss interesting insights and become part of the design process.
The money pledged for the Third Thumb goes solely toward creating these prototypes, and sending them too you. Please keep in mind that this is not a final product, it is a work in progress.
The project will be finished in November 2017 once I will have sent out of the Third Thumbs (in July) and received feedback from you all.
The other Third Thumb pledges will go towards the support and continuation of this project. Receiving feedback from my Third Thumb wearers will help me to develop the prototype further, you will receive updates of new progress and designs.
Who am I?
Hi, I'm Dani, I am a product designer from New Zealand, currently completing the final year of my MA at the Royal College of Art in London. Originally from New Zealand, I moved to London 3 years ago.
How does it work?
The Third Thumb is attached to your hand with a silicone strap, and connected via two cables to a small servo on the back of your hand. The flex sensor is how you control the Third Thumb; it runs up within the silicone of your little finger cover and as it is flexed, the resistance across the sensor increases. This then moves the servo controlling the Third Thumb in time with your finger. All of this is operated by a small chip called a Arduino Micro (about the size of a thumbprint), which will be positioned near the small servo.
The main challenge at this stage will be the battery. At the moment the design is running off a small external battery pack, but this will hopefully be replaced with a small lithium battery.
Materials and Development:
I developed the Third Thumb on my own and it is still in the prototype stage.
The Third Thumb prototype will consist of: A mini servo 3D Printed Parts An Arduino Pro Mini A Flex Sensor Assorted wiring 1mm Acrylic A Silicone Hand strap*