Smart Hand for Amputees Combines User and Robotic Control

EPFL scientists are developing new approaches for improved control of robotic hands, particularly for amputees, that combines individual finger control and automation for improved grasping and manipulation. This interdisciplinary proof-of-concept between neuroengineering and robotics was successfully tested on three amputees and seven non-amputee subjects. The technology contributes to the emerging field of shared control in neuroprosthetics. One concept is from neuroengineering, and involves deciphering intended finger movement from muscular activity on the amputee’s stump for individual finger control of the prosthetic hand. The other concept is from robotics, and allows the robotic hand to help take hold of objects and maintain contact with them for robust grasping.