Publication Details

Mohammadi, A., Lavranos, J., Zhou, H., Mutlu, R., Alici, G., Tan, Y., Choong, P. & Oetomo, D. (2020). A practical 3D-printed soft robotic prosthetic hand with multi-articulating capabilities. PLoS ONE, 15 (5), e0232766-1-e0232766-23.


© 2020 Mohammadi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Soft robotic hands with monolithic structure have shown great potential to be used as prostheses due to their advantages to yield light weight and compact designs as well as its ease of manufacture. However, existing soft prosthetic hands design were often not geared towards addressing some of the practical requirements highlighted in prosthetics research. The gap between the existing designs and the practical requirements significantly hampers the potential to transfer these designs to real-world applications. This work addressed these requirements with the consideration of the trade-off between practicality and performance. These requirements were achieved through exploiting the monolithic 3D printing of soft materials which incorporates membrane enclosed flexure joints in the finger designs, synergy-based thumb motion and cable-driven actuation system in the proposed hand prosthesis. Our systematic design (tentatively named X-Limb) achieves a weight of 253gr, three grasps types (with capability of individual finger movement), power-grip force of 21.5N, finger flexion speed of 1.3sec, a minimum grasping cycles of 45,000 (while maintaining its original functionality) and a bill of material cost of 200 USD (excluding quick disconnect wrist but without factoring in the cost reduction through mass production). A standard Activities Measure for Upper-Limb Amputees benchmark test was carried out to evaluate the capability of X-Limb in performing grasping task required for activities of daily living. The results show that all the practical design requirements are satisfied, and the proposed soft prosthetic hand is able to perform all the real-world grasping tasks of the benchmark tests, showing great potential in improving life quality of individuals with upper limb loss.



Link to publisher version (DOI)