Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Variable Stiffness Transradial Hand Prosthesis

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Hocaoglu E., Patoglu V.

Frontiers in Neurorobotics, vol.16, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fnbot.2022.789210
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Neurorobotics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Applied Science & Technology Source, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: transradial hand prosthesis, underactuated robotic hand design, variable stiffness actuation, impedance modulation, tele-impedance control
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


We present the design, implementation, and experimental evaluation of a low-cost, customizable, easy-to-use transradial hand prosthesis capable of adapting its compliance. Variable stiffness actuation (VSA) of the prosthesis is based on antagonistically arranged tendons coupled to nonlinear springs driven through a Bowden cable based power transmission. Bowden cable based antagonistic VSA can, not only regulate the stiffness and the position of the prosthetic hand but also enables a light-weight and low-cost design, by the opportunistic placement of motors, batteries, and controllers on any convenient location on the human body, while nonlinear springs are conveniently integrated inside the forearm. The transradial hand prosthesis also features tendon driven underactuated compliant fingers that allow natural adaption of the hand shape to wrap around a wide variety of object geometries, while the modulation of the stiffness of their drive tendons enables the prosthesis to perform various tasks with high dexterity. The compliant fingers of the prosthesis add inherent robustness and flexibility, even under impacts. The control of the variable stiffness transradial hand prosthesis is achieved by an sEMG based natural human-machine interface.