On the Design of a Novel Underactuated Robotic Finger Prosthesis for Partial Hand Amputation

Gu-Cheol Jeong, Yeoeun Kim, Wooseong Choi, Gangyong Gu, Hyun-Joo Lee, Man Bok Hong, Keehoon Kim
IEEE ... International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics: [proceedings] 2019, 2019: 861-867
This paper presents a novel robotic finger prosthesis for partially amputated patients who have lost a thumb and index finger. The challenging issues were to design i) a three-degree-of-freedom (DOF) underactuated mechanism that mimics intact finger movements including motion profiles and self-adaptation for unknown constraints, ii) an attachment socket for everyday life that allows ease of donning and doffing, and comfortable wearability, and iii) a shape to pack the selected components including an actuator, linkages, and sensors into a limited space avoiding motion interference with other intact fingers and wrist. This paper reports our effort to solve the challenging issues. The proposed three-DOF prosthetic finger can generate 4.6N pinch force and 99.4°/s angular velocity at the MCP joints. For command signals, surface-electromyogram (sEMG) sensors were used. This enables users to operate the fingers with certain configuration and grasping force. The performance of the proposed design was verified through the box-and-block test and bottle opening test with a patient who has a partially amputated hand.

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