Research Papers

Design of a Multigrasp Transradial Prosthesis

[+] Author and Article Information
Tuomas E. Wiste

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235tuomas.wiste@gmail.com

Skyler A. Dalley

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235skyler.a.dalley@vanderbilt.edu

H. Atakan Varol

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235atakan.varol@vanderbilt.edu

Michael Goldfarb

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235michael.goldfarb@vanderbilt.edu

J. Med. Devices 5(3), 031009 (Aug 18, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004653 History: Received January 31, 2011; Revised June 08, 2011; Published August 18, 2011; Online August 18, 2011

This paper describes the design and performance of a new prosthetic hand capable of multiple grasp configurations, and capable of fingertip forces and speeds comparable to those used by healthy subjects in typical activities of daily living. The hand incorporates four motor units within the palm, which together drive sixteen joints through tendon actuation. Each motor unit consists of a brushless motor that drives one or more tendons through a custom two-way clutch and pulley assembly. After presenting the design of the prosthesis, the paper presents a characterization of the hand’s performance. This includes its ability to provide eight grasp postures, as well as its ability to provide fingertip forces and finger speeds comparable to those described in the biomechanics literature corresponding to activities of daily living.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Hand prosthesis prototype (without cosmesis), shown with intact hand for reference

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Figure 2

Computer rendering of hand with palm structure removed, illustrating the motor unit layout and tendon routing for each respective degree-of-actuation (DoA). Note that the thumb flexion tendon exits through the dorsal aspect of the hand and is routed through a flexible cable housing (visible in the figure), while all other tendons are routing via pulleys and channels in the palm structure.

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Figure 3

Section view of thumb, showing tendon routing, torsional springs (in each joint), and series elastic elements (in distal phalanx)

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Figure 4

Exploded view of a motor unit output assembly, showing integrated two-way clutch and tendon pulley

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Figure 5

Sectional view through two-way clutch

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Figure 6

Six hand grasps and two hand postures, which constitute one of the primary design objectives of the hand prototype

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Figure 7

Fingertip normal force versus percent tendon excursion for each DoA

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Figure 8

Tendon excursion tracking bandwidth for ± 25% tendon excursion about mid-flexion point for each of the degrees of actuation



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