Abstract

Human hands play a key role in almost all activities of daily living (ADLs) because it is an incredibly versatile tool capable of complex motion. For individuals who have had a complete loss of the hand, the ability to perform ADLs is impaired. Effective prosthetics accurately simulate the movements of a human hand by providing a high number of degrees of freedom, an efficient control system, and an anthropomorphic appearance. In this paper, the design and construction process of a highly anthropomorphic soft robotic prosthetic hand is outlined. The design specifications of the hand are based on feedback from current and former prosthetic users. The hand endoskeleton was 3D printed using fused deposition modeling techniques and was enclosed in a silicone coating modeled, after a real human hand. The hand presents anthropomorphic design in its realistic bone shapes and in its external covering that is like skin in texture and mechanical properties. The hand utilizes the flexibility of silicone instead of antagonistic tendons which would otherwise add complexity and weight to the prosthetic design. The prototype also includes adduction/abduction of the fingers, which is a common omitted movement in other prosthetics. Testing showed that the hand is capable of effective power and precision grasping.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.