TitleGrasp Performance of a Soft Synergy-Based Prosthetic Hand: A Pilot Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGailey, AS, Godfrey, SB, Breighner, R, Andrews, K, Zhao, K, Bicchi, A, Santello, M
Journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Pagination2407 - 2417
Date Published12/2017
Accession Number17397794
KeywordsHaptics, Robotics

Current prosthetic hands are frequently rejected in part due to limited functionality and versatility. We assessed the feasibility of a novel prosthetic hand, the SoftHand Pro (SHP), whose design combines soft robotics and hand postural synergies. Able-bodied subjects (n = 23) tracked cursor motion by opening and closing the SHP and performed a grasp-lift-hold-release (GLHR) task with a sensorized cylindrical object of variable weight. The SHP control was driven by electromyographic (EMG) signals from two antagonistic muscles. Although the time to perform the GLHR task was longer for the SHP than native hand for the first few trials (10.2 ± 1.4 s and 2.13 ± 0.09 s, respectively), performance was much faster on subsequent trials (~5 s). The SHP steady-state grip force was significantly modulated as a function of object weight (p <; 0.001). For the native hand, however, peak and steady-state grip forces were modulated to a greater extent (+68% and +91%, respectively). These changes were mediated by the modulation of EMG amplitude and co-contraction. These data suggest that the SHP has a promise for prosthetic applications and point-to-design modifications that could improve the SHP.

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the Grainger Foundation, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number R21HD081938, and the European Commission within Horizon 2020 2015.ICT.24a Robot- ics RIA, with Grant no. 688857 “SOFTPRO -Synergy-based Open-source Foundations and Technologies for Prosthetics and RehabilitatiOn.” 

Refereed DesignationRefereed