Conference paper Open Access

Preliminary Results Toward Continuous and Proportional Control of a Multi-synergistic Soft Prosthetic Hand

Cristina Piazza; Manuel G. Catalano; Antonio Bicchi; Levi J. Hargrove

State of art of modern hand prosthesis is populated by sophisticate hi-tech poly-articular hands which usually offer a broader set of movement capabilities, with the possibility to control up to 4 or 5 motors and achieve several different postures. Unfortunately these device are not so easy to control. A novel emerging trend is oriented towards a strong simplification of the mechanical design (through i.e. underactuation mechanisms), but still maintaining a good level of performance. A successful example is the SoftHand2 Pro, a 19 Degrees of Freedom (DoF) anthropomorphic hand which, using two motors, can move along two different synergistic directions, to perform either power grasp, precision grasp and index point. The combination of this multi-synergistic prosthetic hand with advanced controls, as myoelectric pattern recognition algorithms, allows to get promising results toward a more natural and intuitive control, introducing novel features as the possibility of a continuous switch between gestures. Preliminary experimental results are presented, demonstrating the effectiveness of the idea.

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