Assessment of Functionality of Multifunction Prosthetic Hands

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This study is part of a program to investigate the function of prosthetic arm systems, specifically the new generation multifunction hands.

Materials and Methods

The Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure was used to measure the relative performance of a range of commercial multifunction prosthetic hands. To compare different designs of hands, a single subject was used with repeated measures. Hands from Touch Bionics (i-limb), Steeper (BeBionic), and Ottobock (Michelangelo) were tested and compared with the most effective single degree of freedom hand (Motion Control), as measured in a previous study.


The overall performance of the Motion Control hand (94) was a significantly higher score than the Ottobock (89) (P > 0.05); the other two hands also had lower Overall scores (Touch Bionics, 81; Steeper, 83). When the individual grip scores are normalized against the Overall score, the Tips grips for all hands showed a much poorer value than the other grips (Steeper, 0.77; Touch Bionics, 0.73; and Ottobock, 0.82).


All three hands were more anthropomorphic in action and appearance than the earlier hands, but this did not result in greater function than the simpler fixed geometry hands.

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