Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 5, 2013
   Pages 599 — 618

Abstract — Mechanical design and performance specifications of anthropomorphic prosthetic hands: A review

Joseph T. Belter, MS, BS;1* Jacob L. Segil;2 Aaron M. Dollar, PhD, SM, BS;1 Richard F. Weir, PhD3

1Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Yale University, New Haven, CT; 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO; 3Biomechatronics Development Laboratory, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver VA Medical Center, Denver, CO; and Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Abstract — In this article, we set forth a detailed analysis of the mechanical characteristics of anthropomorphic prosthetic hands. We report on an empirical study concerning the performance of several commercially available myoelectric prosthetic hands, including the Vincent, iLimb, iLimb Pulse, Bebionic, Bebionic v2, and Michelangelo hands. We investigated the finger design and kinematics, mechanical joint coupling, and actuation methods of these commercial prosthetic hands. The empirical findings are supplemented with a compilation of published data on both commercial and prototype research prosthetic hands. We discuss numerous mechanical design parameters by referencing examples in the literature. Crucial design trade-offs are highlighted, including number of actuators and hand complexity, hand weight, and grasp force. Finally, we offer a set of rules of thumb regarding the mechanical design of anthropomorphic prosthetic hands.

Key words: amputee, grasping, grippers, hands, iLimb Hand, manipulation, Michelangelo Hand, rehabilitation, robotics, terminal devices.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 5
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Belter JT, Segil JL, Dollar AM, Weir RF. Mechanical design and performance specifications of anthropomorphic prosthetic hands: A review. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(5):599–618.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.10.0188
*A portion of this article was published as Belter JT, Dollar AM. Performance characteristics of anthropomorphic prosthetic hands. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics; 2011 Jun 29–Jul 1; Zurich, Switzerland. p. 921–27.
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