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Italian Researchers Develop Lighter, Cheaper Robotic Hand


The left hand is real, the right hand is a prosthetic.

Italian researchers have developed a prosthetic hand that streamlines the mechanical design of other myoelectric prosthetics, using sensors that respond to the brain's electrical stimuli to the muscles.

Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP

The Hennes robotic hand developed by Italian scientists streamlines the mechanical design of other myoelectric prosthetics, using sensors that respond to the brain's electrical stimuli to the muscles, according to researcher Lorenzo De Michieli with the Italian Institute of Technology’s Rehab Technologies Lab.

The Hennes' single motor directs the movement of all five fingers, making the prosthesis lighter, more affordable, and more adaptable to the shapes of objects.

"This can be considered low-cost because we reduce to the minimum the mechanical complexity to achieve, at the same time, a very effective grasp, and a very effective behavior of the prosthesis," De Michieli says. "We maximized the effectiveness of the prosthetics and we minimized the mechanical complexity."

Italian retiree and hand amputee Marco Zambelli has been testing the Hennes hand for several years; with it, he can remove bills from an automated teller machine, grip a pencil, and drive a stick-shift car.

From Phys.org
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