Saturday, July 31, 2010

More in the Way of Hands, Mechanical

Since I've been on the subject of waldos, and making things by hand, I might as well show a few of the myriad interesting images I've come across. The hand can be interpreted in so many ways.

First, an amazing clockwork hand manipulator, which I would love to have, even if it's really simply art for art's sake. However, imagine if this could read Jacquard cards (or complex cams) and thus make your hand move in specific ways. Gives a new meaning to the term "player piano" - or perhaps, "piano player." Which would it be?

And a YouTube video of how it works:

Shane Willis' cool Escher-inspired hands repairing each other.

Part of a school project where students had to build working hands out of popsicle sticks and strings as a study of engineering and physiognomy.

A Becker Lock Grip hand, modded by the writer of a blog on "Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues." In fact, modded twice. Really a very nice hand to have if you need a prosthetic arm, because it is so moddable (and cool looking). An interesting discussion, too, of people's reactions to different prosthetics he's tried... And a neat video of him using it to chop tomatoes.

(Editor's note: Wolf Schweitzer, author of the Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues blog, above, has written to tell me that I must include the beautiful Monestier-Lescoeur hand, made by a sculptor and automata maker who does very interesting work. He's right - check it out: you can see the video here)

Another school project, with instructions

Kroenen's Mechanical hand, a reproduction of the one in the movie Hellboy.

A cheap mechanical hand ($17) which I came across on BoingBoing

I wasn't able to get a copy of this amazing tattoo of a hand emerging from this person's flesh, but I encourage you to go look at it.

In the Waldo tradition, this person made an oversized wooden hand to fit on their arm

Lastly, Ambroise Pare's excellent rendering of a mechanical hand, made from the original but with metal parts inside. From a nice Timeline of Robotics website.

The picture at the top was in Google Images, but led to a site which proposed to scan my computer for viruses, and nothing more. So I snagged the image and got out of there...


Wolf Schweitzer said...

Do not forget the Monestier hand. You also should archive that, to be more complete ;)

Heather McDougal said...

I will add that! It is indeed beautiful. Nice blog, by the way.

Tom Banwell said...

Very interesting post!

spacedlaw said...

That first hand is truly beautiful (if a little creepy).

Miss Violet said...

Beautiful photographs. As a fellow artist (and steampunk), I'm also fascinated with the symbology as well as the inner technical workings of hands. They are so evocative.

One note -- the students' school project with popsicle sticks and string were likely studying *physiology*, not physiognomy. Physiognomy is a pseudoscientific claim that a person's character or morality can be judged by their outward appearance, particularly the shape of the head and facial features.

Dwight said...

So very glad you are back on here - I love your wonderful cabinet!

A couple of days after you posted this, I saw the January 2010 National Geographic which had this interesting article: