Healthcare is so expensive that healthcare hacking communities are developing, comprised of people who perform their own DIY procedures and post them YouTube as tutorials.

Now some of these self-taught medics are trying to built robot doctors that can operate on them without requiring them to go to the hospital and incur hefty bills. Several bots have been in the works, but they're so expensive, they defeat the purpose of affordable healthcare.

Frank Kolkman. Image via We make money not art. Image 1.Frank Kolkman. Image via We make money not art

But designer Frank Kolkman, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, is building a surgical robot that costs only $5000 by using accessible prototyping techniques like 3D printing and laser cutting and by sourcing ready-made parts when possible.

Kolkman, after testing iterations of the robot for five months, concludes:

And based on my experiences the concept of a DIY surgical robot is surprisingly plausible. If you would be able to build a community of makers who bring the same amount of attention and dedication to building surgical tools as they do to designing 3d printers and cnc machines these days, I believe accessible DIY surgery equipment would be within reach.

Cover image: Vimeo