Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
Special issue:
22 Dec 2010
 | 22 Dec 2010

Towards the design of a prosthetic underactuated hand

T. Laliberté, M. Baril, F. Guay, and C. Gosselin

Abstract. This paper presents recent advances in the design of an underactuated hand for applications in prosthetics. First, the design of the fingers is addressed. Based on previous experiments with prototypes developed in the past, new tendon routings are proposed that lead to a more effective transmission of the forces. A novel elastic tendon routing is also proposed for the passive opening of the hand. A simplified static analysis of the fingers is proposed to support the results. Then, a new kinematic design of the thumb is presented. The thumb is designed to perform out-of-the-plane motions in order to broaden the variety of possible grasps. A mechanism for the implementation of underactuation between the fingers is proposed that alleviates the friction problems encountered in earlier hand designs. Finally, a prototype of the hand is briefly described and typical grasps are shown.

This paper was presented at the IFToMM/ASME International Workshop on Underactuated Grasping (UG2010), 19 August 2010, Montréal, Canada.

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