Underactuated five-finger prosthetic hand inspired by grasping force distribution of humans

Yasuhisa Kamikawa, Takashi Maeno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Simple grippers with one or two degrees of freedom are commercially available prosthetic hands ; these pinch type devices cannot grasp small cylinders and spheres because of their low degree of freedom. This paper presents the design and prototyping of underactuated five-finger prosthetic hand for grasping various objects in daily life. Underactuated mechanism enables the prosthetic hand to move fifteen compliant joints only by one ultrasonic motor. The innovative design of this prosthetic hand is the underactuated mechanism optimized to distribute grasping force like those of humans grasping various objects robustly. Because of human like force distribution, the prototype of prosthetic hand could grasp various objects in daily life and heavy object with the maximum ejection force of 50 N grater than other underactuated prosthetic hands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2542-2548
Number of pages7
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct


  • Human engineering
  • Humanoid
  • Mechanism
  • Medical and welfare assistance
  • Optimal design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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