Jittery MacGyver

How much potential is inside one Keurig Coffee Maker?

In May of 2015, it was estimated that a pod-based coffee maker could be found in nearly one in three American homes. As you probably know, these devices are hardly impervious to mechanical and/or electrical failure, which often results in the whole unit getting tossed... you know, because WOO! 'MURICA!! So basically, we've created a situation where we have extremely prevalent hardware filled with a wide variety of easily repurposable components that get pitched far too early in their lifecycle. Another way of framing this up would be to consider a (however unlikely) scenario where we lose our ability to simply jump online, place an order, and have anything we want delivered to our door within two days, but instead have to rely on our resourcefulness and craftiness to meet our basic needs. In that scenario, I'd want to know how much potential was locked away in a device I could find in nearly one in three American homes. This is the goal of Jittery MacGyver.

Build #1: Hedberg, the Bionic Hand

Hedberg is a proof-of-concept bionic prosthesis designed to give transradial amputees limited hand functionality. With the exception of adhesives and a 12-volt power source (I'm using an ~$20 lithium-ion battery at the moment), Hedberg is comprised solely of parts found inside one Keurig K350 coffee maker. I didn't have any plans going into the build—basically just had a general idea of how I wanted things to work mechanically and how what parts I might use to generate the grip force. I used my own hand as a reference for measurements, angles for joints, range of motion, etc. along the way.

I limited my workbench to basic hand tools, a heat gun, a cordless drill, a soldering iron, calipers, a rotary tool (in combination with a diamond wheel and an engraving cutter, for the most part), and a few other common tools. I did this because I wanted as many people as possible to reach the end of the video a think, "I've used all that stuff..." or "I have all these tools." If the only people who could build a Hedberg are the ones with a decked-out workshop, where's the fun in that?

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