A team of researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) claim to have developed the world's first electromechanical prosthetic hand with a grip strong enough to crush an empty beverage can.
This bionic hand weighs a little more than 300 grams and has a grip strength of around 15 kg (33 lbs), which is about half that of the average adult male. The hand also features four quick, nimble fingers that take as little as 1 second to flex and extend. When used in combination with the hand's opposable thumb, each finger can deftly pinch and pick up small objects of various shapes.
Researchers have long considered it a great challenge to design an electric prosthetic hand with a strong grip. Toru Omata, a graduate school professor at TIT, explains that until now, electromechanical hands have relied solely on motors for their grip. The secret to this bionic hand's strong grip, he explains, is the system of pulleyed cables that run through the fingers and attach at the fingertips.
One day in the future, the proud owner of this bionic hand will be able to crush cans at will. For that to happen, though, the researchers need to outfit the hand with a system of myoelectric control technology, which would allow the user to control the hand by flexing other muscles.
[Source: Japan News Network]