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High cable forces deteriorate pinch force control in voluntary-closing body-powered prostheses

High cable forces deteriorate pinch force control in voluntary-closing body-powered prostheses

Hichert, Mona, Abbink, David A., Kyberd, Peter J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9022-6748 and Plettenburg, Dick H. (2017) High cable forces deteriorate pinch force control in voluntary-closing body-powered prostheses. PLoS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203 (Online) (doi:

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It is generally asserted that reliable and intuitive control of upper-limb prostheses requires adequate feedback of prosthetic finger positions and pinch forces applied to objects. Body-powered prostheses (BPPs) provide the user with direct proprioceptive feedback. Currently available BPPs often require high cable operation forces, which complicates control of the forces at the terminal device.

The aim of this study is to quantify the influence of high cable forces on object manipulation with voluntary-closing prostheses. Able-bodied male subjects were fitted with a bypass-prosthesis with low and high cable force settings for the prehensor. Subjects were requested to grasp and transfer a collapsible object as fast as they could without dropping or breaking it. The object had a low and a high breaking force setting. Subjects conducted significantly more successful manipulations with the low cable force setting, both for the low (33 % more) and high (50 %) object’s breaking force. The time to complete the task was not different between settings during successful manipulation trials. In conclusion: high cable forces lead to reduced pinch force control during object manipulation. This implies that low cable operation forces should be a key design requirement for voluntary-closing BPPs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 Hichert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body-powered prostheses; Bowden cable operation forces; Extended Physiological Proprioception (EPP); Hand prosthesis; Mechanical egg; Object manipulation; Pinch force control; Proprioceptive feedback; Prosthetic design; Prosthetic evaluation; Sensory feedback; Upper-limb prostheses; Voluntary-closing
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Engineering Science
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 13:30
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT e
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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