HOW TO MAKE A WORKING MODEL ROBOT HAND

Important Revision: We've figured out a simpler way to make the back of the hand. Watch this YouTube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuIY7uSdKMM
or this SchoolTube equivalent
http://www.schooltube.com/video/5084171d4a9c38a4413d/Robot-Hand-Model-Revision-511

You will need a pattern for the hand which you can print out here (PDF format) or if you don't have a PDF reader, here (GIF) Either way, when you print it out, be sure that image is not scaled bigger or smaller. Do not leave any boxes checked that say "fit to page" or anything like that. Also, measure the scale check; it should be 2 inches or 5 cm.

Part 1 is and introduction, starting with a science road show to an elementary school where we get kids to start thinking about how their hands work. We make the case that the muscles that move our fingers are not in our fingers! Our fingers are so strong and yet so nimble because strings--called tendons--connect parts of our fingers to big muscles in our forearms. If YouTube is blocked in your school, try this Schooltube link Part 1

Part 2 actually starts the directions, beginning with a list of all the materials you'll need, then shows how to embed the strings in the silicone on the back of the hand. You can print out the pattern for the hand here (PDF format) or if you don't have a PDF reader, here (GIF) Either way, when you print it out, be sure that image is not scaled bigger or smaller. Do not leave any boxes checked that say "fit to page" or anything like that. Also, measure the scale check; it should be 2 inches or 5 cm. If YouTube is blocked in your school, try this Schooltube link Part 2

Part 3 starts after the silicone on the back is cured, about a day. Then, on the front of the hand you achor 5 straws in silicone and weave a thin bead of silicone over them. If YouTube is blocked in your school, try this Schooltube link Part 3

Part 4, the final part, is about cutting notches in the fingers to allow bending in 3 places in each finger. Then you thread the strings through the straws, and congratulations! You have made a working model hand with your own hands! And I bet you'll never forget how your hands work If YouTube is blocked in your school try this SchoolTube link Part 4

note: if you look through the instructions below and decide the project is too messy or complicated, Joel Anderson sent me this link for a simple animatronic hand. http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2007/10/just_in_time_for_hallowee_1.html

a simplified finger project made only from notched straws is coming soon, check back

For some interesting links about hands, bones and muscles, click here

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