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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2010 Dec;34(4):411-27. doi: 10.3109/03093646.2010.486390. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Efficiency of voluntary closing hand and hook prostheses.

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  • 1Department of Biomechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.


The Delft Institute of Prosthetics and Orthotics has started a research program to develop an improved voluntary closing, body-powered hand prosthesis. Five commercially available voluntary closing terminal devices were mechanically tested: three hands [Hosmer APRL VC hand, Hosmer Soft VC Male hand, Otto Bock 8K24] and two hooks [Hosmer APRL VC hook, TRS Grip 2S]. The test results serve as a design guideline for future prostheses. A test bench was used to measure activation cable forces and displacements, and the produced pinch forces. The measurements show that the hands require higher activation forces than the hooks and 1.5-8 times more mechanical work. The TRS hook requires the smallest activation force (33 N for a 15 N pinch force) and has the lowest energy dissipation (52 Nmm). The Hosmer Soft hand requires the largest activation force (131 N for a 15 N pinch force) and has the highest energy dissipation (1409 Nmm). The main recommendations for future prostheses are the following: (1) Required activation forces should be below the critical muscle force (∼18% of maximum), to enable continuous activation without muscle fatigue; and (2) hysteresis of mechanism and glove should be lowered, to increase efficiency and controllability.

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