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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2016 Aug;2016:4642-4645. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2016.7591762.

A Low-Cost, Open-Source, Compliant Hand for Enabling Sensorimotor Control for People with Transradial Amputations.

Author information

AA is with the Neuroscience Program and Medical Scholars Program; KYC and TB are with the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering; MF, JC, EW, CY, DG, and AW are with the Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering; PS, JL, and JM are with the Dept. of Mechanical Science & Engineering. GA is with the Rehabilitation Counseling Program and the Center for Wounded Veterans; CS is with the Industrial Design Program; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA. DR is with Scheck & Siress Prosthetics Orthotics, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.


In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a low-cost, open-source prosthetic hand that enables both motor control and sensory feedback for people with transradial amputations. We integrate electromyographic pattern recognition for motor control along with contact reflexes and sensory substitution to provide feedback to the user. Compliant joints allow for robustness to impacts. The entire hand can be built for around $550. This low cost makes research and development of sensorimotor prosthetic hands more accessible to researchers worldwide, while also being affordable for people with amputations in developing nations. We evaluate the sensorimotor capabilites of our hand with a subject with a transradial amputation. We show that using contact reflexes and sensory substitution, when compared to standard myoelectric prostheses that lack these features, improves grasping of delicate objects like an eggshell and a cup of water both with and without visual feedback. Our hand is easily integrated into standard sockets, facilitating long-term testing of sensorimotor capabilities.

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