The PSYONIC Advanced Bionic Hand
This is our latest prototype. Our hand is affordable, with the goal of being completely covered by US insurance companies at no out-of-pocket costs to users. All 5 fingers can individually flex and extend and the thumb also rotates. Most commercially available hands are large and sized only for males. Ours is 50th percentile female-sized and weighs 20% less than an average human hand. It’s also USB-rechargeable.
Muscle Pattern Recognition
The hand is controlled through muscle signals from the forearm that are processed by our muscle processing unit. We use a machine learning algorithm that can detect when the user is making different hand movements including hand close, hand open, a fine pinch, a three-finger grasp, and rest. After a quick 2-minute training session, the hand recognizes the different hand movements and responds accordingly.
NO commercially available bionic hand gives users useful sensory feedback. We give that ability back to users by using low-cost pressure sensors embedded in the fingertips. These sensors are in everyone’s cell phones and GPS devices, but we repurpose them as highly sensitive touch sensors. When the user touches an object, the skin is stimulated electrically, feeling like a tingling, vibration, or even pressure.
After interviewing dozens of clinicians and patients, we found that the number one problem with $30,000 bionic hands is that they are breaking all the time. Our fingers are made of polyurethane and silicone giving them compliance, which allows them to withstand blunt force impacts. Our experiments show that our compliant finger design absorbs at least 10x more energy on impact when compared to fingers using a conventional rigid finger design. In fact, our finger survived impact that not even a 1045 HR steel bar could withstand. Even though they’re flexible, each finger can still hold up to 38 pounds, and the assembled hand can hold over 50 pounds.