Multiple Grasp Prosthetic Terminal Device
Prosthetic devices have continued to evolve over time to improve the functional capabilities and aesthetic appearance of such devices. However, in many cases, improving the functional capabilities of prosthetic devices correspondingly increases both the complexity and the cost of the devices. For example, providing high functioning prosthetic terminal devices, or end effectors, that restore hand like capabilities may be possible via the use of multiple active and articulable finger-like projections. Complex control circuitry, and numerous motor operated articulated joints may be needed to provide such a high functioning prosthetic terminal device. Although modern technology has advanced to the point where it is possible to develop extremely functional and lifelike prosthetic limbs, it may not be economically feasible to mass produce such limbs. Moreover, many individuals that need prosthetic devices may desire simpler and more cost effective alternatives.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have developed a prosthetic terminal device includes a wrist interface portion, a passive element and an active element. The passive element includes at least two finger-like projections extending from a base in a direction substantially away from the wrist interface portion. The passive element is fixed in relation to the wrist interface portion. The active element is configured to be positioned relative to the passive element and the wrist interface portion to achieve a plurality of grasp positions of the prosthetic terminal device based on one dimension of closure control of the active element in combination with a plurality of different fixable orientation positions of the active element. Each of the different fixable orientation positions is associated with at least one grasp position and at least one of the fixable orientation positions is associated with at least two grasp positions.
Patent Status: U.S. patents pending.CONTACT: