Engineers from the Italian Institute of Technology and Italy’s National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL) have unveiled a prosthetic hand that they claim “gives the patient approximately 90% functionality of a natural hand.” The Hannes was designed to lower the price of advanced powered prostheses, while having a long battery life, a strong grip, and manipulation of individual fingers.
Its weight is closer to that of a typical hand, making it more natural for the person using it. A natural movement of the fingers is achieved thanks to a novel use of materials and mechanics. While individual fingers can move independently, they’re all powered by a single motor, simplifying the design over other attempts.
The grasp changes depending on the situation it is used in, and this feature is already patented by the engineering team. This so-called Dynamic Adaptive Grasp mimics how a normal hand would grasp the same object, maximising the strength and secureness of the grasp.
While each individual grasp is controlled by the system, they come in three different kind, being pinch grasp, power grasp, and lateral grip. The user can select which to use because at times it is impossible by the system to know on its own.