Seeing the discomfort and the complexity in operating a prosthetic hand, researcher Gerwin Smit, PhD, has developed the world’s lightest prosthetic hand as a part of his dissertation, Natural Grasping. According to him while developing Delft Cylinder Hand, the body powered prosthetic hand that he has created; he concentrated the three C’s: cosmetics, comfort and control. Delft Cylinder Hand weights only 217 grams, which is almost 50% lighter than traditional prosthetic hands. For smooth movement, the hand with hinged fingers is hydraulically operated via the miniature cylinders fitted inside the fingers. The grip strength of this prosthetic hand is greater than 30 Newton and the user needs less energy to operate it with slight shoulder movements and upper arm.
At this point in time Delft Cylinder Hand is going through clinical tests at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and it is expected that the prosthetic hand will be ready in the next five years for use by amputated patients who simply give up on using prosthetic hands due to the complexity and effort required for operation. Since it requires less energy exertion by the user to operate therefore its cost is going to be comparable to that of a myo-electric prosthesis.
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