Scanned by: Fishkaover 5 years ago
A lightweight hydraulic hand with individually powered fingers could change the lives of amputees, say researchers in Germany. The Fluidhand, according to its developers, is lighter, behaves more naturally, and has greater flexibility than artificial hands that use motorized fingers.
The Fluidhand prototype, developed by a team led by Stefan Schulz at the Research Center in Karlsrühe, in partnership with the Orthopedic University Hospital, in Heidelberg, Germany, has flexible drives located in each of its finger joints, enabling the wearer to move each finger independently. Lightweight miniature hydraulics are connected to elastic chambers that can flex the joints of the fingers. As sensors on the fingers and palm close around objects, nerves in the amputation stump pick up muscular sensations so that the amputee can use a weaker or stronger grip. The prosthetic provides five different strengths of grip.