Jason Taylor – Bionic Tool Kit
“When Msc Applied Technologies student Jason Taylor was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia, a late diagnosis meaning resultant nerve damage and a future where he may need to undergo amputation of one or both of his arms, his response was to use design in order to continue his design career. Taylor set a brief to create a tool kit dexterous enough to satisfy the movements needed in multiple design areas and for carrying out design tasks to the standard where the user retains a feeling of seamless extension of their own body.
Taylor’s personal impetus for the Bionic Tool Kit project is just the beginning since the variables are so considerable. As he reminds us “anyone can be at risk of losing a limb, whether it be due to disease, birth deformity, or trauma. Among those amputees are people that work as chefs, designers, mechanics, engineers, etc. The main problem these people face doing their jobs after an arm amputation, is the interaction with everyday tools, such as pens, knives, screwdrivers. These tools have been developed over time to be used by a human hand. However, while most prosthetics may be based on the aesthetics of a human hand, the actual function is not very close at all”.
From biomimetic anthropomorphic robotics, to FESTO’s pneumatic ‘fluidic muscles’ and ‘membranes’. From the gorgeously blemished life-like ‘skins’ of prosthetic limb designer Sophie De OIiveira Barata/ The Alternative Limb Project, to the open source 3D printable designs from e-NABLE allowing for cheap replication of hands and arms that rely solely on mechanical movement and tensioned cables to simulate grip. Taylor’s research for Bionic Tool Kit draws from the best at the forefront of prosthetics and bionics design, with thorough investigation of synthetic materials and systems at the intersection of functionality and aesthetics.
Bionic Tool Kit is a defiantly creative solution, pre-emptive in the decision to continue designing in the face of such a life-changing diagnosis, but also in seizing an opportunity to open up new possibilities for others coping with similar challenges.