DESIGN OF A CLINICALLY VIABLE MULTIFUNCTIONAL PROSTHETIC HAND.
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We are in the process developing a new multifunctional hand mechanism in the hopes of providing a new mechanism that will have superior function over today’s single degree-offreedom (DOF) mechanisms and yet be clinically viable. However, this is no easy task. There have been a multitude of multifunctional hands built, all of which have failed to find clinical application as an artificial hand replacement. During the 60s and 70s much time, effort, and money was invested in the development of externally-powered multi-functional hand-arm systems. Prime among these being the Edinburgh Arm , the Boston Arm [2,3], the Philadelphia Arm [4,5], the Belgrade hand [6,7], the Sven Hand , the Utah Arm . However while many of today’s commercially available externally-powered elbow systems (Boston Elbow – Liberating Technology Inc , NYU Elbow – Hosmer-Dorrance, and Utah Elbow – Motion Control ) owe their origins to this era of upper-limb research no multifunctional hand mechanisms made the transition from the Laboratory into clinical practice.
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