The Helping Hand is designed to help build a deeper understanding of science and engineering by acting as a functional model of a human hand!
While the Helping Hand is not a perfect replica, it is designed to help foster an understanding of how a real human hand works. Each finger has two LEGO strings attached acting as artificial tendons to facilitate flexion and extension of the fingers. Each tendon works its way down the length of the finger and through the palm of the hand along the corresponding color channel. The color channels help younger children identify which tendons operate which fingers. Anyone can act as the "muscle" by choosing a desired tendon, pulling it, and watching their chosen finger move! The thumb is articulated as well, but must be posed separately.
The model also includes a stand to display the hand. The hand has undergone extensive revisions to make sure that the functionality is robust, intuitive, and durable. With the stand the model is around 500 pieces.