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Affordable Prosthetic Hands

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Affordable Prosthetic Hands are designed for people with only one hand in place of their other hand. The finger actuation and transmission system follows a bio-inspired design that structurally reproduces the flexion (with tendons driven through low-friction tubes) and extension (using elastomer materials) movements of human fingers. The proposed thumb mechanism substitutes the three Degrees of Freedom (DoF) that implement the human thumb opposition with only one rotational DoF. The proposed mechanism is completely stiff when it is locked and is not affected by torsional forces inherent in dynamic/unstructured environments. A separate tendon routing system is used for the thumb and its tendon is terminated to a separate servo pulley.

Selectively Lockable Differential Mechanism (Whiffletree): The proposed selectively lockable differential mechanism can block the motion of each finger, using a button. The differential allows the user to select in an intuitive manner the desired finger combinations, implementing different grasping strategies with only 1 motor. The top two bars of the whiffletree have appropriately designed holes and the palm accommodates a series of buttons that upon pressing are elongated. The idea is that when the button is pressed the elongated part fills the appropriate finger hole and the motion of this particular finger is constrained. A total of 16 different index, middle, ring, and pinky combinations can be implemented using the differential mechanism and a single motor. These can be combined with the 9 discrete positions of the thumb, to produce a total of 144 different grasping postures. This proposed prototype can accommodate any size hand. The use of parametric models, derived from human hand anthropometry studies, allows for the development of personalized prosthesis. The only parameters that we need in order to derive the finger phalanges lengths and the personalized finger base frames positions and orientations, are the human hand length (HL) and the human hand breadth (HB). The proposed hands can be fabricated using off-the-shelf, low-cost materials, and rapid prototyping techniques (3D printing) or standard machinery tools. All required materials can be found in hardware stores around the world.

Technical Specifications: 

Materials: Fingers are plexiglas (acrylic). Fingergrips are implemented with silicone sheets. The robot fingers are 1) sponge like and easily deformable (to enlarge contact patches, reduce contact forces impact to the grasped object and enhance stability), 2) made of rubber tape (to increase friction and constrain the sponge like tape on the robot phalanges), and 3) anti-slip (to maximize friction during contact, enhancing stability of grasps).


Price Check
as of: 
Affordable Prosthetic Hands

Made By:

OpenBionics Organization Type: 
Open?ionics is an open-source initiative for the development of affordable, light-weight, modular robot hands and prosthetic devices, that can be easily reproduced using off-the-shelf materials. Our robot hands cost less that $100 and weigh less than 200gr while our new anthropomorphic prosthetic hand costs less than $200 and weighs less than 300gr.
Web Address: 
Open Bionics

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