Development of an anthropomorphic prosthetic hand with underactuated mechanism

Wooseok Ryu, Youngjin Choi, Yong Je Choi, Yeong Geol Lee, Sungon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An anthropomorphic prosthetic hand for wrist or forearm amputees is developed herein. The prosthetic hand was designed with an underactuated mechanism, which makes self-adaptive grasping possible, as well as natural motions such as flexion and extension. The finger and thumb modules were designed with four degrees of freedom by motions of the distal interphalangeal, proximal interphalangeal, and metacarpophalangeal joints. In this research, we pursued several novel trials in prosthetic hand design. By using two four-bar linkages composed of a combination of linkages and gears for coupling joints at each finger, it was possible to make a compact design, and the linkage has advantages such as accurate positioning, uniform power transmission, and high payload. Also, by using constant-velocity joints, torque is transferred to finger modules regardless of adduction/abduction motions. In addition, adduction/abduction and self-adaptive grasping motions are passively realized using torsional springs. The developed prosthetic hand was fabricated with a weight of 475 g and a human hand size of 175 mm. Experiments with diverse objects showed its good functionality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4384
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the convergence technology development program for bionic arm through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science & ICT (No. 2015M3C1B2052811), Republic of Korea. This work was also supported by the Technology Innovation Program (or Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program) (20001856, Development of robotic work control technology capable of grasping and manipulating various objects in everyday life environment based on multimodal recognition and using tools) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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