This is the abridged version of our original article in Japanese.
Tokyo-based Exiii, a company that develops functional prosthetic hand Handiii, started its crowdfunding campaign on Japanese crowdfunding site Kibidango on Monday, and has reached the funding goal of 1 million yen (about $8,400) in only five days.
In view of Japanese startups developing assistive devices, Whill, the Japanese startup behind the smart wheelchair under the same name, got its start by raising money on Japanese crowdfunding site Campfire. Having introduced its first prototype in late 2011, Whill was qualified by 500 Startups to join its incubation program and subsequently secured two major funding rounds from investors. The company aims to ship 2,000 wheelchairs by the end of 2015.
The Exiii team is developing the second-generation model of the prosthetic hand series called Handiii Coyote. At the Maker Faire event recently held in Tokyo, their clinical trial user Mr. Morikawa demonstrated the prototype. He is expected to use the device developed through the crowdfunding campaign.
Exiii CEO Genta Kondo spoke about their work:
While the previous device needed to be operated by our development team rather than the user, the new device can be controlled entirely by the user. Thanks to Mr. Morikawa, who demonstrated the device by controlling it himself, it drew great interest from the audience at the Maker Faire event.
Mr. Morikawa only spent about 10 minutes to learn how to use the prosthetic hand. Thanks to Mr. Morikawa’s demonstration, I think that he will help us close the gap between handicapped and non-handicapped people.
There are 53 days more to go until the crowdfunding campaign closes, so it will be interesting to see how much money Exiii manages to raise.