WO2010018358A2 - A device resembling a part of the human body which is able to be actuated - Google Patents

A device resembling a part of the human body which is able to be actuated Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010018358A2
WO2010018358A2 PCT/GB2009/001894 GB2009001894W WO2010018358A2 WO 2010018358 A2 WO2010018358 A2 WO 2010018358A2 GB 2009001894 W GB2009001894 W GB 2009001894W WO 2010018358 A2 WO2010018358 A2 WO 2010018358A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
finger
thumb
hand
structural member
actuator
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2009/001894
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2010018358A3 (en
Inventor
Mark Hunter
Original Assignee
Rslsteeper Group Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority claimed from US18858708P external-priority
Application filed by Rslsteeper Group Limited filed Critical Rslsteeper Group Limited
Publication of WO2010018358A2 publication Critical patent/WO2010018358A2/en
Publication of WO2010018358A3 publication Critical patent/WO2010018358A3/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25JMANIPULATORS; CHAMBERS PROVIDED WITH MANIPULATION DEVICES
    • B25J15/00Gripping heads and other end effectors
    • B25J15/0009Gripping heads and other end effectors comprising multi-articulated fingers, e.g. resembling a human hand
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2/68Operating or control means
    • A61F2/70Operating or control means electrical
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2/54Artificial arms or hands or parts thereof
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2/54Artificial arms or hands or parts thereof
    • A61F2/58Elbows; Wrists ; Other joints; Hands
    • A61F2/583Hands; Wrist joints
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2002/5007Prostheses not implantable in the body having elastic means different from springs, e.g. including an elastomeric insert
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2002/5038Hinged joint, e.g. with transverse axle restricting the movement
    • A61F2002/5041Hinged joint, e.g. with transverse axle restricting the movement having bearing bushes between the rotating parts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2002/5081Additional features
    • A61F2002/5083Additional features modular
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2002/5081Additional features
    • A61F2002/509Additional features specially designed for children, e.g. having means for adjusting to their growth
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2002/5093Tendon- or ligament-replacing cables
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2/54Artificial arms or hands or parts thereof
    • A61F2/58Elbows; Wrists ; Other joints; Hands
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    • A61F2/586Fingers
    • A61F2002/587Thumbs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/50Prostheses not implantable in the body
    • A61F2/68Operating or control means
    • A61F2002/6827Feedback system for providing user sensation, e.g. by force, contact or position
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
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Abstract

The present invention consists of a mechanical hand resembling the appearance and function of a human hand. The hand can be used for upper-limb amputees, and is able to fit wrist disarticulation, trans-radial and trans- humeral amputees. The hand includes an articulating thumb having a hinge at the carpo-metacarpal, metacarpophalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints. Similarly the hand has four articulating fingers, each having a knuckle-shaped hinge at both the metacarpophalangeal and proximal inter-phalangeal joints. Each finger has the option of being actuated. The wrist has an actuator connected to it which articulates the wrist in an up / down movement. Further aspect of the present invention comprises a mechanical finger resembling the appearance and function of a human finger. The finger is able to have the metacarpal and proximal joints actuated. The metacarpal joints are able to be deviated sideways; the elasticity of the skin returns the fingers to the straight position after deviation. This feature significantly increases the longevity of the fingers. The design is scaleable from large male to child sizes. The design is strong, light and efficient to produce making it very competitive for the upper-limb amputee market. A further aspect of the present invention resembles the function and appearance of a human wrist / elbow joint, it consists of a mechanical joint which can be used for a prosthetic wrist / elbow. The joint can be made to be anatomically correct and can rotate the forearm / humeral section and flex and extend the forearm / elbow section. The design is scaleable from large male to child sizes. The design is strong, not able to be back driven, light and efficient to produce making it very competitive for the upper-limb amputee market.

Description

A device resembling a part of the human body which is able to be actuated
There are four sections of the present specification up to but excluding the accompanying claims. The start of each section commences λλSection #" r where # denotes "1" for the first section, "2" for the second, and so on.
SECTION 1
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
A device resembling a human hand which is able to be actuated. INVENTOR
Mark Hunter
BACKGROUND
The present invention relates to mechanical devices that replicate the function and/or aesthetic of a human hand. Suitable uses include a replacement hand for an upper limb amputee (or persons with arm disabilities), and more generally to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, film effects, art installations, disabled products, and learning and teaching devices.
Estimates place the world-wide population of amputees presently at about 3 million people with approximately 100,000 new upper limb amputees each year. Persons suffering from upper limb amputations mourn the loss of their hand and crave something which will closely resemble its look and function creating a demand for realistic products. Shortcomings of existing, commercially available prosthetic arms include devices with limited uses that do not replicate natural human hand movements or uses. Typical existing replacement hands include crude devices such as hooks, claws, pincers, rudimentary hands and other "terminal devices" - all of which move unnaturally, have limited use and are poor in their realism and appearance.
One common limitation of known, commercially available prosthetic hands includes a design constraint of only one or two fingers together and one thumb that are capable of moving. These generally move from the 1st knuckle or metacarpophalangeal joint only. The fingers are solid and do not flex or bend from the distal interphalangeal joint or the proximal interphalangeal joint. Because of this the fingers form a grip only by touching an object at the tips of the fingers. This is known in the industry as a "pinch grip". The pinch grip is a point contact grip with little surface area; this makes it difficult to pick up items. It also demands high energy expenditure to create and maintain the gripping function. This means larger and heavier battery and motor components are generally required, compared to a device with a large surface area grip.
Other common limitations of known, commercially available prosthetic hands are that they are not available from child to large male sizes. There is no scaleable design which can be produced for sizes ranging from child to teenager to adult. This also includes a size which can be produced for the Asian market. In order to be competitive in the upper limb prosthetic market it
- Ia- is important to produce a hand design which is scaleable from child to large male.
Thus, there is a need for an improved scaleable prosthetic hand that provides amputees with a hand which is more realistic, useable and functional than the prosthetic hands that are currently available. Such a hand should combine new improvements in easy-to-use control systems to take advantage of improved mobility and enable hand amputees to quickly master a vastly expanded range of natural movements. This will fulfill a long awaited need for hand amputee patients and persons with hand disabilities.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of an improved prosthetic hand. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a prosthetic hand couples or otherwise mounts onto the residual limb of a person. In this preferred embodiment of the prosthetic hand, a connector fits to the residual limb of the amputee and, the hand is scaleable and accordingly, configures and otherwise accommodates many sizes of persons with hand amputation. The prosthetic hand consists of an anthropomorphic hand, with between 1-5 digits.
One particular limitation overcome by the present invention includes a hand which weighs less than prior art, a hand that greatly increases grip strength and grip ability over the pinch-grip taught in the prior-art. The design of the present invention, specifically the flexing digits which create a high contact area around an object, means less energy is needed for each operation. This results in smaller energy and battery requirements, more movements and extended use of the prosthetic device. This also means the present invention will weigh less (proportional to the amount of movements) than currently available prosthetics.
In one preferred embodiment, the prosthetic device contains four actuators and includes a unique line (or tendon) pull and return system designed to operate with signaling devices for expanded, multidimensional, anthropomorphic movement that includes for example, independently moving forefinger and thumb, grouped 2nd 3rd and 4th digits on an adaptive grip, and up and down movements of the wrist.
In one preferred embodiment, the fingers bend at the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints. Together these movements offer a natural human-like grip. The bending fingers provide a higher coefficient of friction making the action of gripping items more efficient, versatile and useful.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator pulls a tendon (or line), which is similar to a cable, cord, chain, line or, alternately, a drive arm attached to a connector. A connector is attached to the metacarpophalangeal joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator is connected by means of a worm drive, pulley, or directly connected to a bridge which is subsequently connected to the metacarpophalangeal joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
This results in a device with adaptive digits able to grip many differently shaped objects. For example, the forefinger can grip around a large part of the object, while the fourth finger can grip around a small part of the object, or vice-versa. The device can pick up a cylinder, a ball, a cone or any other unevenly shaped objects and have a high coefficient of friction, and a good grip. This advantage enables the amputee many more options of use, and a very realistic looking and functioning hand.
In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are made to look anatomically correct and in proportion to the amputee. If the amputee has no hands, the nearest estimated size is produced. The design of the fingers incorporates a hinged joint, the middle top of which is a knuckle. When the finger is curled, the hinged joint bends and the "knuckle" is shown under the skin. The shape of the knuckle is made to be the same shape as human knuckles adding to the very realistic appearance of the hand. In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are offset from one another at the metacarpophalangeal joint in the "X," "Y" and "Z" axis to give a splayed and natural appearance.
The elasticity of the silicone skin and / or the force of the elastic material which comprises the hinge enable the return of the fingers to their default or open position after closing towards the palm. The silicone skin and the elastic material each work to pull back and hold the finger in the default or "straight open" position. The finger elastic joints are able to return to their default position with or without a skin on the mechanism.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include four actuators: a forefinger actuator, a three-finger actuator (including the second, third and fourth fingers), a thumb actuator and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape. However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include two actuators: a finger actuator which operates all 5 digits and includes an adaptive grip mechanism for the 4 fingers and the thumb, and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape. However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
Actuator distance measurements use a potentiometer or, alternatively, an encoder. However, other movement reading devices, as would be well- understood in the art, easily substitute for the potentiometer or encoder, and may also locate in the arm.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a peripheral nerve interface, an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to nerves which can operate the functions of the hand. The device sends a signal to the artificial hand relaying nerve impulses from the nerves of the amputee to a receiver then to a computer in the prosthetic hand or a receiver then computer external to the prosthetic hand. This will allow the amputee to move the artificial hand at their own direction resembling a human hand. Sensors in the prosthetic hand could send signals to the mechanical hand computer and on to an interface device, which would relay the signals to the amputee. This would allow the person using it to sense the arm's motion and location and to have sensory feedback or to "feel" objects with the mechanical hand and fingers.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a myoelectric sensor - an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to existing muscles which can operate the functions of the hand, the operation of such which is understood in the industry.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the device will be combined with other kinds of neural interface devices that could operate the prosthetic hand, for example, a device implanted to receive signals from the user's brain.
DRAWINGS
There are 48 drawing figures labeled "a" and "b". Figures labeled "a" are a plan view of the hand. Figures labeled "b" are a side view of the hand.
All figures 1-48 are variations of a hand design which are able to be actuated, each figure is described in more detail in the next section "description of the invention".
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Possible preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention. Additionally, many of the preferred embodiments of the present invention relate to an upper limb prosthetic device for a human amputee; however, it will be appreciated by those with skill in this art that trivial changes may readily transfer the use to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, film effects, art installations, disabled products and learning and teaching devices. Additionally, the concepts, spirit, and the scope of the present invention, illustrated in the preferred embodiments, apply equally well to lower limb prosthetic devices.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. La and 1.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the base of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 2. a and 2.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 3. a and 3.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the base of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 4. a and 4.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the base of the thumb. This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 5. a and 5.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the proximal joint of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 6. a and 6.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by actuator 250, which drives through the connection drive (265). The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the proximal joint of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 7. a and 7.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by actuator 250, which drives through the connection drive (265). The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the proximal joint of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 8. a and 8.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the proximal joint of the thumb.
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 9. a and 9.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 10. a and 10.b - fingers 2,3 &4 (120, 130, 140) are actuated by actuator 220 which drives through a worm drive and lead screw (265) and pulls the fingers through the 225 bridge which enables an adaptive grip. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). The forefinger is actuated by drive 210 which pulls through a lead/ball screw. The thumb is actuated by drive 230, which connects directly to the proximal fphal-anx j oint fof the thumb . This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 11.a and 1 1 b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 12. a and 12.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 13. a and 13.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (271), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs - 14. a and 14. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (271), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 15. a and 15.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (271), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 16. a and 16. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendon" 263 which connects to the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (271 ) , then through to two smaller bridges
8 (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 17. a and 17.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by actuator 260, which drives through the connection drive (265), transferring to "tendons" 263 and 253, which in turn connect to the fingers and thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (271), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 18. a and 18.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by a rotary actuator 260. The thumb is driven from the 260 actuator through a "tendon" 263 to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 19. a and 19.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by a rotary actuator 260. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 20. a and 20. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by a rotary actuator 260. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. These bridges are further described in Figs 16.1. a, 16.1.b and 16.1.C. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 21. a and 21. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. These bridge designs are further detailed in figs. 17.1. a, 17.1.b and 17.1.C. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs.22.a and 22. b - is a hand ( 160) which has four fingers ( 110, 120, 130, 140) which are actuated by
9 the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. These bridge designs are further detailed in figs. 17.1. a, 17.1.b and 17.1c. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 23. a and 23. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 24. a and 24. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 25. a and 25. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270), then through to two smaller bridges (274 and 275) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
This embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 26. a and 26. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 27. a and 27. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 28. a and 28. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220 through the drive 225. The three fingers are actuated through io ~ a bridge (224) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is actuated by the 210 actuator, through a lead screw/ball screw connection to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 29. a and 29. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) which are actuated by the actuator 250. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 30. a and 30. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220 through the drive 225. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (224) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is actuated by the 210 actuator, through a lead screw/ball screw connection to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 31.a and 31.b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by the actuator 260. The thumb is connected through the drive connector 265, then through the "tendon" 263 which connects to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a large bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 32. a and 32. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220 through the drive 225. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The forefinger is actuated by the 210 actuator, through a lead screw/ball screw connection to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 33. a and 33. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is driven from the 210 actuator which drives through a lead/ball screw to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200) .
1 1 In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 34. a and 34. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is driven from the 210 actuator which drives through a lead/ball screw to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 35. a and 35. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is driven from the 210 actuator which drives through a lead/ball screw to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 36. a and 36. b - is a hand (160) which has four fingers (110,120,130,140) and a thumb (100) which are actuated by an actuator 260. The thumb is driven from the 260 actuator through a connection drive (265) then through a "tendon" 263 to the base of the thumb. The four fingers are actuated through a connection drive (265) then through a tendon (253) to a large bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 37. a and 37. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 220. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The forefinger is driven from the 210 actuator which drives through a lead/ball screw to the base of the forefinger. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 38. a and 38. b - is a hand (160) which the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (110,120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
. In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 39. a and 39 b - is a hand (160) which the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (110,120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx
12 joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 40. a and 40. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The four fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a lead screw to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 41. a and 41. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a lead screw to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 42. a and 42. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 43. a and 43. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 44. a and 44. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200). In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 45. a and 45. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 46. a and 46. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the base of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 47. a and 47. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 250. The three fingers are actuated through a bridge (270) which enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator which drives through a line to the base of the forefinger (110). The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
In this embodiment of the present invention - Figs. 48. a and 48. b - is a hand (160) which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers (120,130,140) are actuated by the actuator 260. The three fingers are driven through a connector (265), which then connects to the bridge (270). The bridge (270) enables an adaptive grip which is well understood in the art. The forefinger is driven by the 210 actuator through to a line to the base of the forefinger. The thumb is driven from the 230 actuator which drives to the proximal phalanx joint of the thumb. The wrist is actuated by drive 240 direct to the wrist pivot (200).
Of course, those skilled in the art will readily see that a wide variety of methods may be used to produce an arm of suitable proportions, appearance, operation etc.
The above examples and those contained in the following exhibits should be considered exemplary embodiments and are in no way limiting to the present invention. Thus while the description above refers to particular embodiments it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention contained herein.
14 c. SECTION 2
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
A modular and scaleable bionic arm
INVENTOR
Mark Hunter
BACKGROUND
The present invention relates to mechanical devices that replicate the function and/or aesthetic of a human arm and/or hand. Suitable uses include a replacement arm or hand for an upper limb amputee (or persons with arm disabilities), and more generally to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, disabled products, learning and teaching devices, film effects and art installations.
Persons suffering from upper limb amputations mourn the loss of their hand and crave something which will closely resemble its look and function creating a demand for realistic products. Shortcomings of existing, commercially available prosthetic arms include devices with limited uses that do not replicate natural human hand movements or uses. Some existing replacement hands include crude devices such as hooks, claws, pincers, rudimentary hands and other "terminal devices" - which move unnaturally, have limited use and are poor in their realism and appearance.
One common limitation of known, commercially available prosthetic hands includes a design constraint of only one or two fingers together and one thumb that are capable of moving. These generally move from the 1st knuckle or metacarpophalangeal joint only. The fingers are solid and do not flex or bend from the distal interphalangeal joint or the proximal interphalangeal joint. Because of this the fingers form a grip only by touching an object at the tips of the fingers. This is known in the industry as a "pinch grip". The pinch grip is a point contact grip with little surface area; this makes it difficult to pick up items. It also demands high energy expenditure to create and maintain the gripping function. This means larger and heavier battery and motor components are generally required, compared to a device with a large surface area grip.
Other common limitations of known, commercially available prosthetic hands are that they are not available from child to large male sizes. This also includes a size which can be produced for the Asian markets. In order to be competitive in the upper limb prosthetic market it is important to produce a hand design which is scaleable from child to large male.
, 15 Thus, there is a need for an improved scaleable prosthetic hand that provides amputees with a hand which is more realistic, useable and functional than the prosthetic hands that are currently available. Such a hand should combine new improvements in easy-to-use control systems to take advantage of improved mobility and enable hand amputees to quickly master a vastly expanded range of natural movements. This will fulfill a long awaited need for hand amputee patients and persons with hand disabilities.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of an improved modular prosthetic arm which can be used for amputees with the following levels of amputation; wrist disarticulation, long medium and short trans-radial and trans-humeral amputations. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a prosthetic arm couples or otherwise mounts onto the residual limb of a person. In this preferred embodiment of the prosthetic arm, a connector fits to the residual limb of the amputee and, the arm is scaleable and accordingly, configures and otherwise accommodates many sizes of persons with hand amputation. The prosthetic hand consists of an anthropomorphic hand, with between 1-5 digits.
One particular limitation overcome by the present invention includes a hand which weighs less than prior art, a hand that greatly increases grip strength and grip ability over the pinch-grip taught in the prior-art. The design of the present invention, specifically the flexing digits which create a high contact area around an object, means less energy is needed for each operation. This results in smaller energy and battery requirements, more movements and extended use of the prosthetic device. This also means the present invention will weigh less (proportional to the amount of movements) than currently available prosthetics.
In one preferred embodiment, the prosthetic device contains four actuators and includes a unique line (or tendon) pull and return system designed to operate with signaling devices for expanded, multidimensional, anthropomorphic movement that includes for example, independently moving forefinger and thumb, grouped 2nd 3rd and 4th digits on an adaptive grip, and up and down movements of the wrist.
In one preferred embodiment, the fingers bend at the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints. Together these movements offer a natural human-like grip. The bending fingers provide a higher coefficient of friction making the action of gripping items more efficient, versatile and useful.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator pulls a tendon (or line), which is similar to a cable, cord, chain, line or, alternately, a drive arm attached to a connector. A connector is attached to the metacarpophalangeal
16 joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator is connected by means of a worm drive, pulley, or directly connected to a bridge which is subsequently connected to the metacarpophalangeal joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
This results in a device with adaptive digits able to grip many differently shaped objects. For example, the forefinger can grip around a large part of the object, while the fourth finger can grip around a small part of the object, or vice-versa. The device can pick up a cylinder, a ball, a cone or any other unevenly shaped objects and have a high coefficient of friction, and a good grip. This advantage enables the amputee many more options of use, and a very realistic looking and functioning hand.
In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are made to look anatomically correct and in proportion to the amputee. If the amputee has no hands, the nearest estimated size is produced. The design of the fingers incorporates a hinged joint, the middle top of which is a knuckle. When the finger is curled, the hinged joint bends and the "knuckle" is shown under the skin. The shape of the knuckle is made to be the same shape as human knuckles adding to the very realistic appearance of the hand. In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are offset from one another at the metacarpophalangeal joint in the "X," "Y" and "Z" axis to give a splayed and natural appearance.
The elasticity of the silicone skin and / or the force of the elastic material which comprises the hinge enable the return of the fingers to their default or open position after closing towards the palm. The silicone skin and the elastic material each work to pull back and hold the finger in the default or "straight open" position. The finger elastic joints are able to return to their default position with or without a skin on the mechanism.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include four actuators: a forefinger actuator, a three-finger actuator (including the second, third and fourth fingers), a thumb actuator and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape. However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include two actuators: a finger actuator which operates all 5 digits and includes an adaptive grip mechanism for the 4 fingers and the thumb, and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape.
17 B2009/001894
However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
Actuator distance measurements use a potentiometer or, alternatively, an encoder. However, other movement reading devices, as would be well- understood in the art, easily substitute for the potentiometer or encoder, and may also locate in the arm.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a peripheral nerve interface, an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to nerves which can operate the functions of the hand. The device sends a signal to the artificial hand relaying nerve impulses from the nerves of the amputee to a receiver then to a computer in the prosthetic hand or a receiver then computer external to the prosthetic hand. This will allow the amputee to move the artificial hand at their own direction resembling a human hand. Sensors in the prosthetic hand could send signals to the mechanical hand computer and on to an interface device, which would relay the signals to the amputee. This would allow the person using it to sense the arm's motion and location and to have sensory feedback or to "feel" objects with the mechanical hand and fingers.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a myoelectric sensor - an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to existing muscles which can operate the functions of the hand, the operation of such which is understood in the industry.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the device will be combined with other kinds of neural interface devices that could operate the prosthetic hand, for example, a device implanted to receive signals from the user's brain.
18 DRAWINGS
Figure 1*- Adult sized (3 1A") hand design - front view
Figure 21- Adult sized (3 1A") hand design - rear view
Figure 31- Adult sized (3") hand design - front view
Figure 4*- Adult sized (3") hand design - rear view
Figure 5*- Adult to teenage sized (2 3A") hand design - front view
Figure 6'- Adult to teenage sized (2 2A") hand design - rear view
Figure 7*- Adult to teenage sized (2 3A") hand design - front view
Figure 8*- Adult to teenage sized (2 3A") hand design - rear view
Figure 9*- Child sized (2 V_") hand design - front view
Figure 101- Child sized (2 Vi") hand design - rear view
Figure 11*- Child sized (2 !/_") hand design - front view
Figure 121- Child sized (2 1A") hand design - rear view
Figure 13*- Child sized (2 1A") hand design - front view
Figure 14'- Child sized (2 1A") hand design - rear view
Figure 15'- Child sized (2 1A") hand design - front view
Figure 161- Child sized (2 1A") hand design - rear view
Figure 171- Child sized (2") hand design - front view
Figure 18C- Child sized (2") hand design - rear view
Figure 19*- Child sized (2") hand design - front view
Figure 20*- Child sized (2") hand design - rear view
Figure 2l'- Child sized (1 3A") hand design - front view
Figure 22*- Child sized (1 3A") hand design - rear view
Figure 23*- Actuator exploded view
Figure 24*- Finger cross-sectional view showing linkages and pivots
Figure 25*- Finger cross-sectional view showing linkages and pivots
Figure 26*- Finger cross-sectional view showing soft finger tip "tissue"
Figure 27*- Adult size thumb views
Figure 28*- Adult size thumb views
Figure 291- Teenage size thumb views
Figure 30'- Teenage size thumb views
Figure 31*- Child size thumb views
Figure 32*- Child size thumb views
Figure 33l- Bicep actuators view
Figure 34*- Bicep actuators sectional views - start, middle and end of bicep lift actuation
Figure 35 - Bicep actuators sectional views - start, middle and end of humeral rotation actuation
Figure 361- Bicep actuators sectional views - start, middle and end of humeral rotation actuation
Figure 371- Trans-humeral design - rear view
Figure 38'- Trans-humeral design - front view
Figure 391- Trans-radial long design - rear view
Figure 40l- Trans-radial long design - front view
Figure 41 - Trans-radial medium design - rear view
1 ?<S
19 Figure 42 - Trans-radial medium design - front view
Figure 43l- Control electronics on top of hand
Figure 44'- Control electronics on socket
Figure 45*- Wrist disarticulate design, including round rotating wrist - rear view
Figure 4(?- Wrist disarticulate design, including round rotating wrist - front view
Figure 471- Wrist disarticulate design - rear view
Figure 48 - Wrist disarticulate design - front view
20 01894
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Possible preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention. Additionally, many of the preferred embodiments of the present invention relate to an upper limb prosthetic device for a human amputee; however, it will be appreciated by those with skill in this art that trivial changes may readily transfer the use to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, film effects, art installations, disabled products and learning and teaching devices. Additionally, the concepts, spirit, and the scope of the present invention, illustrated in the preferred embodiments, apply equally well to lower limb prosthetic devices.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 1* - is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger by 190, the third by 200, the fourth by 210 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137, and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 3.25" (across the knuckles) and is suitable for an adult male prosthetic hand. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 2 - this is a posterior view of Figure 1.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 31- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger by 190, the third by 200, the fourth by 210 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137, and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 3" (across the knuckles) and is suitable for an adult male prosthetic hand. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 4*- this is the posterior view of Figure 3*.
-21 .. This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 5 - is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger by 190, the third and the fourth by 230, and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.75" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 6 - this is the posterior view of Figure 5.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 7 - is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger by 190, the third and the fourth by 230, and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.75" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 8 - this is the posterior view of Figure 7X
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 9- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger, third and fourth fingers by 240 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.5" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 10 - this is the posterior view of Figure 91.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 11l - is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger, third and fourth fingers by 240 and the thumb by 220. Each
22 finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.5" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 12 - this is the posterior view of Figure 11*.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 131- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger, third and fourth fingers by 240 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.25" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 14* - this is the posterior view of Figure 13*
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 151- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first finger is actuated by actuator 180, the second finger, third and fourth fingers by 240 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2.25" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 16 - this is the posterior view of Figure 151
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 17l- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first, second, third and fourth fingers are actuated by actuator 280 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size
23 of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 18* - this is the posterior view of Figure 17!
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 191- is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first, second, third and fourth fingers are actuated by actuator 280 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 2" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 20* - this is the posterior view of Figure 19!
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 21 - is a hand which has four fingers and a thumb. The first, second, third and fourth fingers are actuated by actuator 280 and the thumb by 220. Each finger actuator actuates the base of the finger proximal phalanx (117, 127, 137 and 147). The thumb actuator actuates the proximal phalanx 107; lines are directed from the 107 phalanx to actuate the 105 and 109 phalanxes. The battery (320) has a size of 54 x 25.5 x 21 and is placed in the palm of the hand - this battery can be changed in size and shape to fit into other areas of the hand. In this embodiment the hand has a width of 1.75" across the knuckles. This design is also appropriate for other sized hands from 4" to 1.5" widths.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 221 - this is the posterior view of Figure 21!
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 23*- are various views of a linear potentiometer which is used to actuate the fingers. Motor 305 drives through gearbox 303; the rotary action is transferred through 293 to a drive 289. From drive 289 the rotary action is transferred to a linear action through carrier 285, then to shaft 281 which connects to the finger drive point. The design of the casing 291 , stops the carrier 285 from rotating, and hence transfers the rotary action to a linear action. The casing 291 can be made as part of the palm of the hand and not as shown as two separate pieces.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 24*- shows a finger cross - sectional view, detailing the pivots and drive linkages. The drive of the linear actuator is shown in the palm of the hand.
24 This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 25* - shows a finger cross - sectional view, detailing the pivots and drive linkages. The drive of the linear actuator is shown on the top of the hand.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 2o - shows a finger cross-sectional view showing the fingers ends with soft tissue which will prolong the life of the fingers and the skin.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 271- shows an adult size thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 281- shows an adult sized thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 291 - shows a teenage sized thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 30 - shows a teenage sized thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 31r- shows a child sized thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 32 - shows a child sized thumb mechanism.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 32T - shows the elbow and humeral rotation mechanism, this consists of two actuators 260 and 270. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 inwards results in the elbow lifting upwards. Actuation of 260 outwards and 270 inwards results in a humeral rotation to the left. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 outwards results in a humeral rotation to the right.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 34 -shows the elbow being actuated from straight to bend at 130 degrees.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 35* - shows the elbow and humeral rotation mechanism, this consists of two actuators 260 and 270. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 inwards results in the elbow lifting upwards. Actuation of 260 outwards and 270 inwards results in a humeral rotation to the left. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 outwards results in a humeral rotation to the right. The actuators are attached my means of a radial axel bearing or rotating bearing at both points of actuation. The rotating bearings allow the elbow to lift whilst also allowing the elbow to twist. The point of rotation of the elbow is also a radial axel bearing or rotating bearing which allows the actuation of the elbow from 0-140 degrees and allows a humeral rotation of +/- 40 degrees.
25" In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 36 - shows the elbow and humeral rotation mechanism, this consists of two actuators 260 and 270. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 inwards results in the elbow lifting upwards. Actuation of 260 outwards and 270 inwards results in a humeral rotation to the left. Actuation of 260 inwards and 270 outwards results in a humeral rotation to the right. The actuators are attached my means of a radial axel bearing or rotating bearing at both points of actuation. The rotating bearings allow the elbow to lift whilst also allowing the elbow to twist. The point of rotation of the elbow is also a radial axel bearing or rotating bearing which allows the actuation of the elbow from 0-140 degrees and allows a humeral rotation of +/- 40 degrees.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 37 - shows a trans- humeral design posterior view. The socket (310) is attached to the elbow section, the elbow and humeral rotation being actuated by 260 and 270. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 38*- shows a trans- humeral design anterior view. The socket (310) is attached to the elbow section, the elbow and humeral rotation being actuated by 260 and 270. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 39 - shows a transradial long design posterior view. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 40 - shows a transradial long design posterior view. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 41*- shows a transradial long medium posterior view. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 421- shows a transradial medium design posterior view. The forearm rotation is actuated by 274, the wrist up/down actuated by 272. The radial bone simulator is 276; the ulna
. 26 bone simulator is 277. Both 277 and 276 are attached to the hand at the wrist and allowed to pivot at this point.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 43 - shows the control electronics on the top of the palm of the hand.
IInn tthhiiss eemmbbooddiimmeenntt ooff tthhee pprreesseernt invention - Fig. 44 - shows the control electronics attached to the socket.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 45l- shows a wrist disarticulation design posterior view, including a round rotating wrist mechanism 274.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 46l- shows a wrist disarticulation design anterior view, including a round rotating wrist mechanism 274.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 47*- shows a wrist disarticulation design posterior view.
In this embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 48*- shows a wrist disarticulation design anterior view.
Of course, those skilled in the art will readily see that a wide variety of methods may be used to produce an arm of suitable proportions, appearance, operation etc.
The above examples and those contained in the following exhibits should be considered exemplary embodiments and are in no way limiting to the present invention. Thus while the description above refers to particular embodiments it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention contained herein.
27 SECTION 3
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
Mechanical Finger Design
INVENTOR
Mark Hunter
SPECIFICATION
The present invention relates to mechanical devices that replicate the function and/or aesthetic of a human finger. Suitable uses would be to be included in a replacement arm or hand for an upper limb amputee (or persons with arm disabilities), and more generally to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, disabled products, learning and teaching devices, film effects and art installations.
Persons suffering from upper limb amputations mourn the loss of their limb and crave something which will closely resemble its look and function creating a demand for realistic products. Shortcomings of existing, commercially available prosthetic limbs include devices with limited uses that do not replicate natural human hand movements or uses. Some existing replacement hands include crude devices such as hooks, claws, pincers, rudimentary hands and other "terminal devices" - which move unnaturally, have limited use and are poor in their realism and appearance.
One common limitation of known, commercially available prosthetic hands includes a design constraint of only one or two fingers together and one thumb that are capable of moving. These generally move from the 1st knuckle or metacarpophalangeal joint only. The fingers are solid and do not flex or bend from the distal interphalangeal joint or the proximal interphalangeal joint. Because of this the fingers form a grip only by touching an object at the tips of the fingers. This is known in the industry as a "pinch grip". The pinch grip is a point contact grip with little surface area; this makes it difficult to pick up items. It also demands high energy expenditure to create and maintain the gripping function. This means larger and heavier battery and motor components are generally required, compared to a device with a large surface area grip.
Other common limitations of known, commercially available prosthetic hands are that they are not available from child to large male sizes. This also includes a size which can be produced for the Asian markets. In order to be competitive in the upper limb prosthetic market it is important to produce a hand design which is scaleable from child to large male.
28 Thus, there is a need for an improved scaleable prosthetic hand that provides amputees with a hand which is more realistic, useable and functional than the prosthetic hands that are currently available. Such a hand should combine new improvements in easy-to-use control systems to take advantage of improved mobility and enable hand amputees to quickly master a vastly expanded range of natural movements. This will fulfill a long awaited need for hand amputee patients and persons with hand disabilities.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of an improved modular mechanical finger which can be used for upper limb amputees. The finger design at the metacarpal joint incorporates a ball and socket type joint for the finger to articulate through. The design of this joint allows the fingers to accommodate sideways impact with a much less chance of breakage as opposed to prior art. Over the mechanical finger is placed a realistic looking and moving skin. The skin acts much like human skin in that the mechanism works with the qualities of the skin. When the fingers are deflected sideways the fingers move, after deflection the elasticity of the skin allows the fingers to move back to their neutral or straight position. This design will greatly enhance the longevity of the fingers and increase the realism of the hand design, thus overcoming limitations in prior art.
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of an improved modular mechanical finger which can be used for amputees with the following levels of amputation; wrist disarticulation, long medium and short trans-radial and trans-humeral amputations. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a mechanical hand containing fingers couples or otherwise mounts onto the residual limb of a person. In this preferred embodiment of the prosthetic arm, a connector fits to the residual limb of the amputee and, the arm is scaleable and accordingly, configures and otherwise accommodates many sizes of persons with hand amputation. The prosthetic hand consists of an anthropomorphic hand, with between 1-5 mechanical fingers.
One particular limitation overcome by the present invention includes a mechanical finger which weighs less than prior art, and fingers that greatly increases grip strength and grip ability over the pinch-grip taught in the prior- art. The design of the present invention, specifically the flexing fingers which create a high contact area around an object, means less energy is needed for each operation. This results in smaller energy and battery requirements, more movements and extended use of the prosthetic device. This also means the present invention will weigh less (proportional to the amount of movements) than currently available prosthetics.
In one preferred embodiment, the prosthetic device contains four actuators and includes a unique line (or tendon) pull and return system designed to operate with signaling devices for expanded, multidimensional,
29 anthropomorphic movement that includes for example, independently moving forefinger and thumb, grouped 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers on an adaptive grip, and up and down movements of the wrist.
In one preferred embodiment, the fingers bend at the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints. Together these movements offer a natural human-like grip. The bending fingers provide a higher coefficient of friction making the action of gripping items more efficient, versatile and useful.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator pulls a tendon (or line), which is similar to a cable, cord, chain, line or, alternately, a drive arm attached to a connector. A connector is attached to the metacarpophalangeal joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
The second, third and fourth fingers are operated by an actuator located in the hand. In a preferred embodiment the actuator is connected by means of a worm drive, pulley, or directly connected to a bridge which is subsequently connected to the metacarpophalangeal joint of the second, third and fourth fingers. The connector enables the fingers to adapt to and grip objects with varying shapes, sizes, weights, densities and strengths.
This results in a device with adaptive digits able to grip many differently shaped objects. For example, the forefinger can grip around a large part of the object, while the fourth finger can grip around a small part of the object, or vice-versa. The device can pick up a cylinder, a ball, a cone or any other unevenly shaped objects and have a high coefficient of friction, and a good grip. This advantage enables the amputee many more options of use, and a very realistic looking and functioning hand.
In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are made to look anatomically correct and in proportion to the amputee. If the amputee has no hands, the nearest estimated size is produced. The design of the fingers incorporates a hinged joint, the middle top of which is a knuckle. When the finger is curled, the hinged joint bends and the "knuckle" is shown under the skin. The shape of the knuckle is made to be the same shape as human knuckles adding to the very realistic appearance of the hand. In a preferred embodiment, the fingers are offset from one another at the metacarpophalangeal joint in the "X," "Y" and "Z" axis to give a splayed and natural appearance.
The elasticity of the silicone skin and / or the force of the elastic material which comprises the hinge enable the return of the fingers to their default or open and straight position after closing towards the palm. The silicone skin and the elastic material each work to pull back and hold the
30 finger in the default or "straight open" position. The finger elastic joints are able to return to their default position with or without a skin on the mechanism.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include four actuators: a forefinger actuator, a three-finger actuator (including the second, third and fourth fingers), a thumb actuator and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape. However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the device may include two actuators: a finger actuator which operates all 5 digits and includes an adaptive grip mechanism for the 4 fingers and the thumb, and a wrist up/down actuator. They are each unique in their design, size and shape. However, the present invention should be construed as including portions of the disclosed embodiment, so long as that portion is configured with sufficient supporting and operable components.
Actuator distance measurements use a potentiometer or, alternatively, an encoder. However, other movement reading devices, as would be well- understood in the art, easily substitute for the potentiometer or encoder, and may also locate in the arm.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a peripheral nerve interface, an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to nerves which can operate the functions of the hand. The device sends a signal to the artificial hand relaying nerve impulses from the nerves of the amputee to a receiver then to a computer in the prosthetic hand or a receiver then computer external to the prosthetic hand. This will allow the amputee to move the artificial hand at their own direction resembling a human hand. Sensors in the prosthetic hand could send signals to the mechanical hand computer and on to an interface device, which would relay the signals to the amputee. This would allow the person using it to sense the arm's motion and location and to have sensory feedback or to "feel" objects with the mechanical hand and fingers.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthesis will be combined with a myoelectric sensor - an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to existing muscles which can operate the functions of the hand, the operation of such which is understood in the industry.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the device will be combined with other kinds of neural interface devices that could operate the prosthetic hand, for example, a device implanted to receive signals from the user's brain.
31 DRAWINGS
Figure 1 - Cross-sectional side view of finger mechanism in the straight position.
Figure 2- Cross-sectional side view of finger mechanism in the ΛA closed position.
Figure it- Cross-sectional side view of finger mechanism in the closed position.
Figure 4 - Cross-sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position.
Figure $- Cross-sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position showing sideways deviation from the right.
Figure 6^- Cross-sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position showing sideways deviation from the left.
Figure /- Knuckle
Figure 8 - Cross-section of Fig. 7 knuckle
Figure 9 - Hand showing 5 fingers in the default or straight position - plan view
32 DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Possible preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention. Additionally, many of the preferred embodiments of the present invention relate to an upper limb prosthetic device for a human amputee; however, it will be appreciated by those with skill in this art that trivial changes may readily transfer the use to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, film effects, art installations, disabled products and learning and teaching devices. Additionally, the concepts, spirit, and the scope of the present invention, illustrated in the preferred embodiments, apply equally well to lower limb prosthetic devices.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 1U- shows a cross- sectional side view of the finger mechanism (110) in the straight position. From the hand frame (105), the finger is attached to the frame by a radial axel bearing (114), which connects to the proximal phalanx (117), this in turn connects to the knuckle (150), which in turn connects to the distal phalanx (115). The whole mechanism is covered by the skin (160), the skin acts as an elastic member to return the finger to this default or straight position.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 21- shows a cross- sectional side view of the finger mechanism (110) in the 14 closed position. When the finger (110) is actuated from point 113, the proximal phalanx (117) is pulled. The finger ligament (112) in turn pulls the distal phalanx (115) which enables the actuation of the distal phalanx from a single actuation point at 113.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 3 - shows a cross- sectional side view of the finger mechanism (110) in the closed position. This is the actuation endpoint, to return the finger to the open position, the actuation point 113 is released by the actuator pulling it, and the elasticity of the skin returns the finger to the straight position.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 4U- shows a cross- sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 5U- shows a cross- sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position showing sideways deviation from the right.
33 This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 6?- shows a cross- sectional plan view of finger mechanism in the straight position showing sideways deviation from the left.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 7 - shows the finger knuckle 150.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 8 - shows a cross- section of Fig. 7 knuckle (152). u
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 9- shows a hand with
5 fingers in the default or straight position - plan view.
34 SECTION 4
TITLE OF THE INVENTION
Prosthetic Joint Design
INVENTOR
Mark Hunter
SPECIFICATION
The present invention relates to mechanical devices that replicate the function and/or aesthetic of a human wrist or elbow. Suitable uses would be to be included in a replacement arm or hand for an upper limb amputee (or persons with arm disabilities), and more generally to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, disabled products, learning and teaching devices, film effects and art installations.
Persons suffering from upper limb amputations mourn the loss of their limb and crave something which will closely resemble its look and function creating a demand for realistic products. Shortcomings of existing, commercially available prosthetic limbs include devices with limited uses that do not replicate natural human hand and arm movements or functions. Existing replacement prosthetic elbows are relatively crude and unnatural in appearance. Prosthetic wrists on the market include only a rotation movement in one round unit, or a manual wrist flexion / extension. Improvements can be made in these devices to make them move naturally, have more functions and uses and give more realism in their appearance and movement. These devices are available as separate units; to combine the two movements into one device would be very desirable.
Thus, there is a need for an improved scaleable prosthetic wrist and elbow that provides amputees with an arm which is more realistic, useable and functional than the prosthetic arms that are currently available. Such an arm should combine new improvements in easy-to-use control systems to take advantage of improved mobility and enable arm amputees to quickly master a vastly expanded range of natural movements. This will fulfill a long awaited need for arm amputee patients and persons with arm disabilities.
35 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of an improved modular prosthetic joint which can be used for wrists and / or elbows for upper limb amputees. In prior art rotational wrist devices and flexion / extension units are available separately; this device actuates both the rotation and flexion / extension movements.
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of a wrist design utilizing 2 motors which are housed in the forearm or humeral section, for the ease of this description we are assuming that the motors are housed in the forearm section. The motors 1 and 2 drive onto a worm then wheel, the worm wheel is attached through a pivot to a bevel gear. The motors can drive the bevel gears in this gear arrangement and also hypoid gears or the like. These two motorized bevel gears (1 & 2) are arranged in a mirror image to each other and joined at 90 degrees by a third bevel gear. The bevel gears 1 and 2 are housed to the forearm section; bevel gear 3 is housed in the hand with a bearing or similar housing. Attached to bevel gear 3 is a material which can flex along its length but will not twist, so it can transfer a rotational motion without twisting, but is flexible so can bend. This flexible non twisting line is attached at one end to the bevel gear, it passes through bearings or guides in the wrist housing, and attached at its other end onto the socket of the amputee. When motors 1 and 2 are driven to cause the bevel gears 1 and 2 to drive in opposing directions it causes bevel gear 3 to rotate. The rotational force on bevel gear 3 is transferred through the flexible non twisting line, through the wrist housing to the socket of the amputee. So the wrist housing rotates around the socket of the amputee. Since the wrist housing is an oval wrist shape, the wrist rotation looks realistic, this overcomes the limitations of the round wrists of prior art and gives a much more realistic function and appearance.
. The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art when motors 1 and 2 are driven to cause the bevel gears 1 and 2 to drive in the same direction it causes bevel gear 3 to rotate around the centre of the pivots of bevel gears 1 and 2. Bevel gear 3 and the hand housing all move up or down around the pivot of rotation of bevel gears 1 and 2. This movement is the wrist flexion / extension or wrist up/down movement. This overcomes the limitations of the lack of this movement in wrists of prior art and gives a much more realistic function and appearance.
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art and consists of a wrist design utilizing 2 motors which are housed in the forearm or upper arm (humeral) section, for the ease of this description we are assuming that the motors are housed in the forearm section. The motors 1 and 2 drive onto a worm then wheel, the worm wheel is attached through a pivot to a bevel gear. The motors can drive the bevel gears in a gear arrangement including hypoid gears or the like. These two motorized bevel gears (1 & 2) are arranged in a mirror image to each other and joined at 90
36 degrees by a third bevel gear. The bevel gears 1 and 2 are housed to the forearm section; bevel gear 3 is housed in the humeral section with a bearing or similar housing. Attached to bevel gear 3 is a material which can flex along its length but will not twist, so it can transfer a rotational motion without twisting, but is flexible so can bend. This flexible non twisting line is attached at one end to the bevel gear, it passes through bearings or guides in the forearm housing, and attached at its other end onto the socket of the amputee in the humeral section. When motors 1 and 2 are driven to cause the bevel gears 1 and 2 to drive in opposing directions it causes bevel gear 3 to rotate. The rotational force on bevel gear 3 is transferred through the flexible non twisting line, through the forearm housing to the socket of the amputee in the humeral. So the forearm housing rotates around the socket of the amputee, giving the amputee a humeral rotation movement. Since the forearm housing is an oval shape, the humeral rotation looks realistic, this overcomes the limitations of the round elbows of prior art and gives a much more realistic function and appearance.
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art when motors 1 and 2 are driven to cause the bevel gears 1 and 2 to drive in the same direction it causes bevel gear 3 to rotate around the centre of the pivots of bevel gears 1 and 2. Bevel gear 3 and the upper arm housing all move up or down around the pivot of rotation of bevel gears 1 and 2. This movement is the elbow flexion / extension or elbow up/down movement. This gives a much more realistic function and appearance.
The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art as the motor and worm arrangement mean that the elbow and wrist joints are not able to be back driven. So if the amputee does not operate the wrist or elbow and a load is placed on one or both of these joints, the joints will not move.
In a preferred embodiment, the forearm and elbow joints are made to look anatomically correct and in proportion to the amputee. If the amputee has no forearm or elbow, the nearest estimated size is produced.
In a preferred embodiment, the forearm and elbow joints are covered with a silicone (or similar material) skin. The designs of the forearm and elbow housings are such that they look like human forearms and elbows. So when they have their skin coverings on them they look like human forearms and elbows.
In a preferred embodiment, the forearm and elbow joints are covered with a silicone (or similar material) skin. The designs of the forearm and elbow housings are such that they have their pivots and points of rotation in a very similar place to the human skeleton. So when they have their skin coverings on them and they are actuated they look like human forearms and elbows.
37 In a preferred embodiment of the present invention actuator distance measurements use a potentiometer, an encoder or similar device. However, other movement reading devices, as would be well-understood in the art, easily substitute for the potentiometer or encoder, and may also locate in the arm.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the prosthetic joints will be used in combination with other prosthetic devices including, prosthetic fingers, prosthetic hands (or terminal devices), prosthetic wrists, prosthetic forearms, prosthetic elbows, prosthetic upper arms and prosthetic shoulder joints. Alternatively these devices could be used for orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices and disabled products, learning and teaching devices, film effects and art installations.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthetic joints will be combined with a peripheral nerve interface, an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to nerves which can operate the functions of the hand. The device sends a signal to the artificial joints relaying nerve impulses from the nerves of the amputee to a receiver then to a computer in the prosthetic joints or a receiver then computer external to the prosthetic joints. This will allow the amputee to move the artificial joints at their own direction resembling a human elbow or forearm. Sensors in the prosthetic joint could send signals to an internal computer and on to an interface device, which would relay the signals to the amputee. This would allow the person using it to sense the prosthetic joints motion and location and to have sensory feedback or to "feel" objects with the mechanical joints.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the prosthetic joints will be combined with a myoelectric sensor - an implantable or surface mountable device. The device locates near to existing muscles which can operate the functions of the joints, the operation of such which is understood in the industry.
In another embodiment of the present invention, the device will be combined with other kinds of neural interface devices that could operate the prosthetic joints, for example, a device implanted to receive signals from the user's brain.
38 DRAWINGS
Figure 1 - Shows the wrist / elbow assembly, with the amputees socket attached at the distal end, at the proximal end is the hand assembly.
Figure 2- Shows the wrist / elbow assembly with a proposed section A-A.
Figure 3?v- Shows a sectioned view A-A of the wrist / elbow assembly.
Figure 4 - Shows an end view of the wrist / elbow assembly.
Figure 5 - Shows the wrist / elbow housing.
Figure 6 - Shows the wrist / elbow housing.
Figure 7 - Shows views of the wrist / elbow housing.
Figure έ - Shows views of the wrist / elbow housing.
Figure 9M- Shows views of the wrist / elbow housing with the hand / forearm section attached.
Figure 10 - Shows views of the wrist / elbow housing with the hand / forearm section attached.
39 DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Possible preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention. Additionally, many of the preferred embodiments of the present invention relate to an upper limb prosthetic device for a human amputee; however, it will be appreciated by those with skill in this art that trivial changes may readily transfer the use to prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, assistive devices, film effects, art installations, disabled products and learning and teaching devices. Additionally, the concepts, spirit, and the scope of the present invention, illustrated in the preferred embodiments, apply equally well to lower limb prosthetic devices.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 1 - shows a view of the wrist / elbow joint. The socket of the amputee (1) is solidly attached to through housing (2) to the rotary transfer shaft (4). The wrist / elbow housing (3) houses the motor one (7) and gearbox one (8), and motor two (5) and gearbox two (6). At the gearbox end of motor one (8) is the motor one worm (9) which is held at its distal end by the motor one worm housing (10) which drives the worm wheel (11), the rotary motion is transferred through the worm wheel bearing (12) to motor one bevel gear (13). At the gearbox end of motor two (6) is the motor two worm (15) which is held at it's distal end by the motor two worm housing (16) which drives the worm wheel (17), the rotary motion is transferred through the worm wheel bearing (18) to motor two bevel gear (19). Attached to the wrist / elbow housing is the hand / forearm section, this is attached at the pivots which protrude from the worm wheels on either side of the wrist housing, this is described in more detail in later figures. Meshed into the bevel gears 19 and 13 is the third bevel gear 21. Bevel gear 21 is housed inside the hand / forearm section through a bearing 20. The bevel gear (21) has a universal joint / non twisting line (14) attached to it as shown, this transfers the rotary motion actuated through the bevel gears when the motors are actuated in opposing directions. The universal joint / non twisting line (14) allows for the up / down movement caused when the motors are actuated in the same direction and the hand / forearm section is moved up and down. lit
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 2 - this shows the wrist / elbow housing with a proposed sectioned view (A-A) which is detailed in Fig 3U(
M l
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 3 - this shows a detailed sectioned view of the view A-A detailed in Fig 2"1
40 This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 4V- this shows an end view of the wrist / elbow assembly. Included are the hand / forearm bearings 23 and 24.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 5 - shows a view of the wrist / forearm housing.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 6 - shows a view of the wrist / forearm housing.
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 7 - shows 3 views of the wrist / forearm housing
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. o - shows 3 views of the wrist / forearm housing
III
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 9- shows the elbow / wrist joint assembled.
HI
This embodiment of the present invention - Fig. 9- shows 4 views the elbow / wrist joint.
41

Claims

1. An actuating device resembling a hand of a human being, the device comprising: a hand assembly having a hand skeleton frame, the assembly comprising; at least one finger, the finger comprising a finger distal phalanx structural member, a finger proximal phalanx structural member, a finger metacarpal structural member or hand skeleton frame structural member, a first finger hinge structure at the distal inter-phalangeal joint or intermediate to the finger distal phalanx structural member and the finger proximal phalanx structural member, a second finger hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the finger proximal phalanx structural member and the finger metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member, a cross-link ligament coupled to the distal phalanx structural member at one end and coupled to the metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member at an opposite end, a tendon coupled to the proximal phalanx structural member whereby selective tension in the tendon causes the proximal phalanx member to rotate and the cross-link member to tighten, which causes the distal phalanx member to rotate inward.
2. The actuating device of claim 1 further comprising: a plurality of fingers coupled to a hand skeleton frame.
3. The actuating device of claim 1 further comprising: a thumb coupled to the hand frame, the thumb comprising
Al a thumb distal phalanx structural member fused to a thumb proximal phalanx structural member, a thumb metacarpal structural member, a first thumb hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and the thumb metacarpal structural member, and a second thumb hinge structure at the carpometacarpal joint intermediate to the thumb metacarpal and the hand skeleton frame.
4. The actuating device of claim 3 wherein the thumb further comprises: an elastic hinge which connects the thumb distal phalanx structural member to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb proximal phalanx structural member to the metacarpal structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, and a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb metacarpal structural member to the hand frame and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
5. The actuating device of claim 3 further comprising a plurality of fingers wherein a first finger supported by the hand skeleton frame, the first finger comprising a first distal phalanx structural member, a first proximal phalanx structural member, a first first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member, and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame.
6. The actuating device of claim 5 wherein the plurality of fingers comprises four fingers and wherein each one of the four fingers comprises:
43 a distal phalanx structural member, a proximal phalanx structural member, a first-finger elastic hinge structure at the distal interphalangeal joint which is intermediate to the distal phalanx structural member and the proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a second-finger elastic hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint which is intermediate to the proximal phalanx structural member and coupling to the hand skeleton frame; and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
7. The device of claim 2 wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the thumb metacarpal structural member.
In another embodiment the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand frame. a thumb actuator couples to the thumb metacarpal structural member, whereby actuation of the thumb actuator enables the thumb metacarpal structural member to move inwards. When the thumb metacarpal structural member is actuated the thumbs cross-link ligament causes the middle phalanx and the fused distal and proximal phalanx members to pivot about the first thumb hinge structure and the second thumb hinge structure.
8. The device of claim 7 wherein: the distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first- finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame; a distal end of the first-finger tendon couples to the first- finger proximal phalanx and the proximal end couples to the first-finger actuator; the first-finger tendon passes into the hand frame, and the first-finger actuator being disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first- finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move
Uh. inwards, pivoting about the first finger proximal hinge structure, the first finger ligament enables and the distal first-finger hinge structure to pivot.
9. The device of claim 7 wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger tendon is attached to the first-finger proximal phalanx, the first-finger tendon coupling to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; a carrier bar couples to the respective proximal phalanx of the second, third and fourth fingers, the carrier bar further coupling to a distal end of a three-finger tendon, the three-finger tendon having a proximal end coupled to a three-finger actuator disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the three-finger actuator enables the corresponding second, third, and fourth- finger proximal phalanges structural members to move inwards and pivot about the metacarpophalangeal joints, whereby upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the three-finger cross-link ligaments enable each distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal interphalangeal joints.
10. The device of claim 7 wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger proximal phalanx is coupled to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand skeleton frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure;
■ r45" -r a carrier bar couples to the respective proximal phalanx of the second, third and fourth fingers, the carrier bar further coupling to a distal end of a three-finger tendon, the three-finger tendon having a proximal end coupled to a three-finger actuator disposed in the hand skeleton frame, whereby activation of the three-finger actuator enables the corresponding second, third, and fourth-finger proximal phalanges structural members to move inwards and pivot about the metacarpophalangeal joints, whereby upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the three-finger cross-link ligaments enable each distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal interphalangeal joints.
11. The first thumb hinge structure of claim 2 further comprising: a hinge-knuckle body having a curvilinear top surface to resemble the appearance of a human knuckle when the associated finger-member articulates to a closed position.
12. The hinge structure of claim 11 further comprising: an elastic hinge coupled to the proximal phalanx and distal phalanx; and an elastic hinge coupled to the distal phalanx and metacarpal; and an elastic hinge coupled to the metacarpal and hand frame.
13. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a wrist assembly as part of the hand frame skeleton and having a wrist actuator, the actuator body being housed inside the hand frame and having one end coupled to the wrist. The wrist actuator operates the wrist up/down through means of a worm drive, spur gear, rack and pinion, epicyclic (planetary) gearing, harmonic drive, cycloidal drive or non-circular gear.
14. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand comprising a chassis; at least one rechargeable power supply unit mounted on the chassis, a controller means for converting input signals to transmission signals to at least one actuator mounted on the chassis, the input signals being received from an input sensor;
A&- a sending means for transmitting the transmission signals from the controller to the at least one actuator, and the power supply unit further comprising a power-supply coupling means for providing power to the controller.
15. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand chassis comprising battery and electronics, a first, second, third, fourth and fifth actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
16. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first, second, third and fourth actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
17. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first, second and third, actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
18. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first and second actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
19. The device of claim 1 further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first actuator, this actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
47
20. In one preferred embodiment the thumb and four fingers are actuated by one actuator located in the hand chassis.
21. In one preferred embodiment the wrist actuator is located in the hand chassis, and directly drives the wrist up / down movement through means of a linkage like a worm drive or a similar linkage.
22. In one preferred embodiment the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred from the actuator through a worm drive linkage, then to a bridge which pulls all three fingers at once and allows an adaptive grip.
23. In one preferred embodiment the thumb is actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred from the actuator directly to the base of the thumb hinge through means of gearing or a belt drive.
23. In one preferred embodiment the forefinger is actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred from the actuator through a worm drive / lead screw which is connected to the base of the forefinger by means of a line or "tendon"
24. A finger for a device resembling a human hand, the finger comprising: a first distal phalanx structural member which comprises fused distal and middle phalanx members ; a first proximal phalanx structural member; a first first-finger hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member; and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame; a first finger ligament having a distal end coupling to the first distal phalanx structural member, the ligament further comprising a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; and a first-finger tendon which is attached to the proximal phalanx.
25. A finger for a device resembling a human hand, the finger comprising:
48 a first distal phalanx structural member which comprises fused distal and middle phalanx members ; a first proximal phalanx structural member; a first first-finger hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member; and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame; a first finger ligament having a distal end coupling to the first distal phalanx structural member, the ligament further comprising a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; and a first-finger actuator which is attached to the proximal phalanx by means of a direct drive.
26. A linear actuator for an actuating device resembling a limb of a human being, the linear actuator comprising: a body shell adapted to house a motor; a motor mount coupling the motor to the body shell; a linear transference shaft coupled to the motor; a linear transference carrier traveling on the linear transference shaft coupled to a drive-arm tendon.
27. The linear actuator of claim 26 further comprising: an encoding device which is used to send a signal to an arm electronic circuit.
28. The device of claim 2 wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb tendon, the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb proximal phalanx ,
49 the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb metacarpal, the thumb tendons proximal end terminates at the thumb actuator, the thumb actuator is housed in the forearm, hand skeleton structure or the thumb metacarpal.
29. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred through a worm drive then onto a bridge which connects all four fingers and enables an adaptive grip of these four fingers.
30. In one preferred embodiment the thumb consists of an actuator located inside the thumb structure which drives the thumb.
31. In one preferred embodiment the thumb is driven by an actuator located inside the metacarpal "bone" of the hand, the actuator directly drives to the proximal joint of the thumb and actuates the thumb to an open and closed position from this point through a series of linkages which connect the hand chassis, thumb metacarpal, thumb proximal phalanx and thumb distal phalanx.
32. In one preferred embodiment the thumb is driven by an actuator located inside the metacarpal "bone" of the hand, the actuator directly drives to the metacarpal joint of the thumb and actuates the thumb to an open and closed position from this point through a series of linkages which connect the hand chassis, thumb metacarpal, thumb proximal phalanx and thumb distal phalanx.
33. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are connected through lines to a bridge which holds all four fingers and enables an adaptive grip.
34. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd and 4th fingers are connected through lines to a bridge which holds all four fingers and enables an adaptive grip.
35. In one preferred embodiment the bridge which enables the adaptive grip of the fingers consists of one solid part.
50
36. In one preferred embodiment the bridge which enables the adaptive grip of the fingers consists of two solid parts, these parts are attached to one another through means of a bearing which enables the two parts to rotate against one another and thus enable a more adaptive grip than the one piece bridge.
37. In one preferred embodiment the bridge which enables the adaptive grip of the fingers consists of three solid parts, these parts are attached to one another through means of bearings which enables the three parts to rotate against one another and thus enable a more adaptive grip than the one or two piece bridges.
38. In one preferred embodiment the bridge which enables the adaptive grip of the fingers consists of four solid parts, these parts are attached to one another through means of bearings which enables the four parts to rotate against one another and thus enable a more adaptive grip than the one, two or three piece bridges.
39. In one preferred embodiment the wrist actuator drives to the wrist pivot through means of a bevel gear.
40. In one preferred embodiment the wrist actuator drives to the wrist pivot through means of a worm gear.
41. In one preferred embodiment the wrist actuator drives to the wrist pivot through means of a spur gear.
42. In one preferred embodiment the wrist actuator drives to the wrist pivot through means of a helical or double helical gear.
43. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th fingers and thumb are actuated from a rotary actuator which is located inside the hand chassis, from the rotary actuator drive lines are attached which transfer the rotary movement of the actuator into a linear movement which actuates the four fingers and thumb.
44. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers and thumb are actuated from a rotary actuator which is located inside the hand chassis, from the rotary actuator drive lines are attached which transfer the rotary
51 movement of the actuator into a linear movement which actuates the three fingers and thumb.
45. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th fingers are actuated from a rotary actuator which is located inside the hand chassis, from the rotary actuator drive lines are attached which transfer the rotary movement of the actuator into a linear movement which actuates the four fingers.
46. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers are actuated from a rotary actuator which is located inside the hand chassis, from the rotary actuator drive lines are attached which transfer the rotary movement of the actuator into a linear movement which actuates the three fingers.
47. In one preferred embodiment the forefinger / three finger / four finger / wrist / four finger and thumb actuator passes through the thumb metacarpal joint itself; the thumb metacarpal joint hinges around the forefinger / three finger / four finger / wrist / four finger and thumb actuator
48. In one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of soft areas which are able to be moved; in one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of one soft area connected to two hard areas which make together make up the whole hand skeleton frame, because the hand skeleton frame has soft areas the hand skeleton frame is able to be deviated thus giving protection to the mechanism and giving added realism to the design.
49. In one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of soft areas which are able to be moved; in one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of two soft areas connected to three hard areas which make together make up the whole hand skeleton frame, because the hand skeleton frame has soft areas the hand skeleton frame is able to be deviated thus giving protection to the mechanism and giving added realism to the design.
50. In one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of soft areas which are able to be moved;
52 in one preferred embodiment the hand skeleton frame consists of three soft area connected to four hard areas which make together make up the whole hand skeleton frame, because the hand skeleton frame has soft areas the hand skeleton frame is able to be deviated thus giving protection to the mechanism and giving added realism to the design.
51. In one embodiment the fingers and thumb are made from soft and hard plastics; the hard plastics make up the bones of the hand, the soft plastics make up the joints of the hand.
52. In one embodiment the distal areas of the fingers and thumb incorporate soft areas which give added realism and added function to the fingers and thumb.
53. In one embodiment of the design the hand can be attached to a other prosthetic arm parts and is able to fit; trans-humeral amputees, trans-radial amputees, trans-radial short amputees, trans-radial medium amputees, trans-radial long amputees, and wrist disarticulation amputees.
54. In one embodiment the finger actuator drives are connected to the base of the fingers by means of a line, when the actuator is engaged, the line is wound around a pulley at the drive end of the actuator, and thus the line (s) are pulled to open and close the fingers.
55. In one embodiment the hand can be made to fit an amputee that measures from 8 to11 "around the knuckles.
53
56. In one embodiment the hand can be made to fit an amputee which measures from 6-8 "around the knuckles.
57. In one embodiment the arm can be made to fit an amputee which measures from 5-6 "around the knuckles.
58. In one embodiment the fingers can be manufactured in parts and joined together in assembly to make the fingers and hand.
59. In one embodiment the finger cross-links can be made from a rigid material.
60. In one embodiment the hand incorporates soft material in the palm, fingers and top of the hand to give added realism and functionality.
54 lot. An actuating device resembling a hand of a human being, the device comprising: a hand assembly having a hand skeleton frame, the assembly comprising; at least one finger, the finger comprising a finger distal phalanx structural member, a finger proximal phalanx structural member, a finger metacarpal structural member or hand skeleton frame structural member, a first finger hinge structure at the distal inter-phalangeal joint or intermediate to the finger distal phalanx structural member and the finger proximal phalanx structural member, a second finger hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the finger proximal phalanx structural member and the finger metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member, a cross-link ligament coupled to the distal phalanx structural member at one end and coupled to the metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member at an opposite end, a tendon coupled to the proximal phalanx structural member whereby selective tension in the tendon causes the proximal phalanx member to rotate and the cross-link member to tighten, which causes the distal phalanx member to rotate inward.
IGl 102. The actuating device of claim '/ further comprising: a plurality of fingers coupled to a hand skeleton frame.
\O3. The actuating device of claim / further comprising: a thumb coupled to the hand frame, the thumb comprising
55 9 001894
a thumb distal phalanx structural member fused to a thumb proximal phalanx structural member, a thumb metacarpal structural member, a first thumb hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and the thumb metacarpal structural member, and a second thumb hinge structure at the carpometacarpal joint intermediate to the thumb metacarpal and the hand skeleton frame.
154. The actuating device of claim £ wherein the thumb further comprises: an elastic hinge which connects the thumb distal phalanx structural member to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb proximal phalanx structural member to the metacarpal structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, and a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb metacarpal structural member to the hand frame and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
IO3
105. The actuating device of claim { further comprising a plurality of fingers wherein a first finger supported by the hand skeleton frame, the first finger comprising a first distal phalanx structural member, a first proximal phalanx structural member, a first first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member, and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame.
\o≤
106. The actuating device of claim / wherein the plurality of fingers comprises four fingers and wherein each one of the four fingers comprises:
56 a distal phalanx structural member, a proximal phalanx structural member, a first-finger elastic hinge structure at the distal interphalangeal joint which is intermediate to the distal phalanx structural member and the proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a second-finger elastic hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint which is intermediate to the proximal phalanx structural member and coupling to the hand skeleton frame; and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
107. The device of claim £ wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the thumb metacarpal structural member.
In another embodiment the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand frame. a thumb actuator couples to the thumb metacarpal structural member, whereby actuation of the thumb actuator enables the thumb metacarpal structural member to move inwards. When the thumb metacarpal structural member is actuated the thumbs cross-link ligament causes the middle phalanx and the fused distal and proximal phalanx members to pivot about the first thumb hinge structure and the second thumb hinge structure.
10-1
108. The device of claim ^ wherein: the distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first- finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame; a distal end of the first-finger tendon couples to the first- finger proximal phalanx and the proximal end couples to the first-finger actuator; the first-finger tendon passes into the hand frame, and the first-finger actuator being disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first- finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move
57 inwards, pivoting about the first finger proximal hinge structure, the first finger ligament enables and the distal first-finger hinge structure to pivot.
1*1
109. The device of claim ^ wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger tendon is attached to the first-finger proximal phalanx, the first-finger tendon coupling to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; a carrier bar couples to the respective proximal phalanx of the second, third and fourth fingers, the carrier bar further coupling to a distal end of a three-finger tendon, the three-finger tendon having a proximal end coupled to a three-finger actuator disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the three-finger actuator enables the corresponding second, third, and fourth- finger proximal phalanges structural members to move inwards and pivot about the metacarpophalangeal joints, whereby upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the three-finger cross-link ligaments enable each distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal interphalangeal joints.
Id
\10. The device of claim /, wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger proximal phalanx is coupled to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand skeleton frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure;
58 a carrier bar couples to the respective proximal phalanx of the second, third and fourth fingers, the carrier bar further coupling to a distal end of a three-finger tendon, the three-finger tendon having a proximal end coupled to a three-finger actuator disposed in the hand skeleton frame, whereby activation of the three-finger actuator enables the corresponding second, third, and fourth-finger proximal phalanges structural members to move inwards and pivot about the metacarpophalangeal joints, whereby upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the three-finger cross-link ligaments enable each distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal interphalangeal joints.
\\ 1. The first thumb hinge structure of claim £ further comprising: a hinge-knuckle body having a curvilinear top surface to resemble the appearance of a human knuckle when the associated finger-member articulates to a closed position. in
Λ 12. The hinge structure of claims/, further comprising: an elastic hinge coupled to the proximal phalanx and distal phalanx; and an elastic hinge coupled to the distal phalanx and metacarpal; and an elastic hinge coupled to the metacarpal and hand frame.
«01 "M 3. The device of claim j^ further comprising: a wrist assembly as part of the hand frame skeleton and having a wrist actuator, the actuator body being housed inside the hand frame and having one end coupled to the wrist. The wrist actuator operates the wrist up/down through means of a worm drive, spur gear, rack and pinion, epicyclic (planetary) gearing, harmonic drive, cycloidal drive or non-circular gear.
ιo» i14. The device of claim ^ further comprising: a hand comprising a chassis; at least one rechargeable power supply unit mounted on the chassis, a controller means for converting input signals to transmission signals to at least one actuator mounted on the chassis, the input signals being received from an input sensor;
59 a sending means for transmitting the transmission signals from the controller to the at least one actuator, and the power supply unit further comprising a power-supply coupling means for providing power to the controller.
lot
115. The device of claim £ further comprising: a hand chassis comprising battery and electronics, a first, second, third, fourth and fifth actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
116. The device of claim ^ further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first, second, third and fourth actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly, lot
117. The device of claim £ further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first, second and third, actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
IDl
118. The device of claim £ further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first and second actuators, each actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
IOI
119. The device of claim ^ further comprising: a hand comprising battery and electronics, a first actuator, this actuator coupled to a corresponding tendon, drive shaft, or linkage and; a wrist assembly as part of the hand assembly,
60 ^20. In one preferred embodiment each finger and the thumb are actuated by its own actuator, this enables each finger to be actuated independently.
( 21. In one preferred embodiment the thumb actuator is located Inside the thumb metacarpal.
Λ 22. In one preferred embodiment the battery is placed in the palm of the hand.
*t23. In one preferred embodiment the thumb is actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred from the actuator directly to the base of the thumb hinge through means of gearing or a belt drive.
123ft. In one preferred embodiment the arm and hand can be produced in a stereo lithography or sintering method. Through this method the arm and hand can be produced in one assembly of parts or as separate parts to be assembled. Also this method has an option of metallic coating the arm or hand which can also be used to make a very strong and light arm and hand.
124. A finger for a device resembling a human hand, the finger comprising: a first distal phalanx structural member which comprises fused distal and middle phalanx members ; a first proximal phalanx structural member; a first first-finger hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member; and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame; a first finger ligament having a distal end coupling to the first distal phalanx structural member, the ligament further comprising a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; and a first-finger tendon which is attached to the proximal phalanx.
125. A finger for a device resembling a human hand, the finger comprising: a first distal phalanx structural member which comprises fused distal and middle phalanx members ;
61 a first proximal phalanx structural member; a first first-finger hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member; and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame; a first finger ligament having a distal end coupling to the first distal phalanx structural member, the ligament further comprising a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure; and a first-finger actuator which is attached to the proximal phalanx by means of a direct drive.
-126. A linear actuator for an actuating device resembling a limb of a human being, the linear actuator comprising: a body shell adapted to house a motor; a motor mount coupling the motor to the body shell; a linear transference shaft coupled to the motor; a linear transference carrier traveling on the linear transference shaft coupled to a drive-arm tendon.
-427. The linear actuator of claiml26 further comprising: an encoding device which is used to send a signal to an arm electronic circuit.
102. i 28. The device of claim i y^ wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb tendon, the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb proximal phalanx , the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb metacarpal,
"62 the thumb tendons proximal end terminates at the thumb actuator, the thumb actuator is housed in the forearm, hand skeleton structure or the thumb metacarpal.
129. In one preferred embodiment the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are actuated by an actuator located in the hand chassis, the drive is transferred through a bridge which connects all four fingers and enables an adaptive grip of these four fingers.
|30. In one preferred embodiment the thumb consists of an actuator located inside the thumb structure which drives the thumb. The actuator drives either the thumb proximal, distal or metacarpal joint. The movement from this one joint being actuated is transferred to the other joints by means of lines which crosses through the thumb at various points.
131. In one preferred embodiment the first and second fingers are actuated by their own actuators, and the third and fourth fingers are actuated by one actuator together.
132. In one preferred embodiment the thumb is driven by an actuator located inside the metacarpal "bone" of the hand, the actuator directly drives to the metacarpal joint of the thumb and actuates the thumb to an open and closed position from this point through a series of linkages which connect the hand chassis, thumb metacarpal, thumb proximal phalanx and thumb distal phalanx.
133. In one preferred embodiment the first finger is actuated by its own actuator, and the second, third and fourth fingers are actuated by one actuator together.
i 34. In one preferred embodiment the four fingers are actuated by one actuator together.
i 35. In one preferred embodiment the actuator to drive the fingers to a closed position is a parallel linear actuator. This consists of a motor and gear head, which connects to a rotary rod, which connects to a linear transference device, which transfers the rotary action to a linear action. The distance the linear actuator moves is measured by a potentiometer or similar device.
63
136. In one preferred embodiment the actuators pull the base of the fingers to enable them to close. The return of the fingers is achieved through the spring of the skin or an elastic membrane attached to each finger.
137. In one preferred embodiment the actuators push the base of the fingers to enable them to close. The return of the fingers is achieved through the spring of the skin or an elastic membrane attached to each finger.
(38. In one preferred embodiment the finger tips have a soft sleeve over them to protect the skin from wear.
139. In one preferred embodiment the thumb has an actuator located inside the structure of the thumb. The thumb can be made in sizes ranging from adult to small child sizes.
140. In one preferred embodiment the elbow joint comprises of two actuators. Actuation of both actuators at once in the same direction enables a lift or lowering of the elbow. Actuation of both actuators in different directions at the same time will give rotation of the humeral bone around the elbow joint.
f41. In one preferred embodiment the rotation of the humeral and elbow lift is constructed with radial axel bearings or bearings allowing axial rotation. Examples of these used are light thermoplastic bearings. From these bearings a humeral rotation of +/- 50 degrees or more is possible.
142. In one preferred embodiment the elbow joint comprises of a radial axel bearing to allow for any humeral rotation through this joint whilst still keeping the properties and look of an elbow.
t43. In one preferred embodiment the arm can be made suitably for a trans- humeral amputee. At this level of amputation the following movements are possible; 5 independently moving digits, a wrist rotation, a wrist up/down, a bicep up/down and a humeral rotation in both directions. This design is scaleable from large male to child sizes
144. In one preferred embodiment the arm can be made suitably for a transradial long amputee. At this level of amputation the following movements are possible; 5 independently moving digits, a wrist rotation and a wrist up/down. This design is scaieable from large male to child sizes.
64 ^45. In one preferred embodiment the arm can be made suitably for a transradial medium amputee. At this level of amputation the following movements are possible; 5 independently moving digits, a wrist rotation and a wrist up/down. This design is scaleable from large male to child sizes.
146. In one preferred embodiment the arm can be made suitably for a transradial short amputee. At this level of amputation the following movements are possible; 5 independently moving digits, a wrist rotation and a wrist up/down. This design is scaleable from large male to child sizes.
<47. In one preferred embodiment the arm can be made suitably for a wrist disarticulation amputee. At this level of amputation the following movements are possible; 5 independently moving digits and a wrist rotation. This design is scaleable from large male to child sizes.
|48. In one preferred embodiment the radius and ulna bones are simulated under the skin. These "bones" are attached to the wrist pivot area where they rotate and give the illusion of reality.
|49. In one preferred embodiment the control system to operate the hand and/or arm is located around the socket of the amputee.
150. In one preferred embodiment the control system to operate the hand and/or arm is located in the palm of the mechanical hand of the amputee.
^1. In one embodiment the actuator bodies are constructed to be an integral part of the palm of the hand, this will add strength to the palm structure and reduce costs of the actuators
152. In one embodiment the hand and/or arm is compatible with existing wrist rotation units. These units are standard "round" units which connect to the hand
153. In one embodiment of the design the hand can be attached to another prosthetic arm parts and is able to fit; trans-humeral amputees, trans-radial amputees,
65 trans-radial short amputees, trans-radial medium amputees, trans-radial long amputees, and wrist disarticulation amputees.
154. In one embodiment the finger actuator drives are connected to the base of the fingers by means of a line.
H55. In one embodiment the actuators can be increased in size and strength to suit the needs of each amputee. Or a stronger, larger motor can be used in an actuator which is used to actuate more than one finger.
156. In one embodiment the lines which cause the fingers to actuate can be made from Kevlar line, or spectra line. These types of line have a tensile strength of up to 2,000lbs.
66 ■\q\. appearance and function a human arm. The arm can be used for upper-limb amputees it is modular and is able to fit wrist disarticulation, trans-radial and trans-humeral amputees. The arm is capable of 5 independently moving fingers, wrist up/down, wrist rotation, elbow lift/drop and a humeral rotation. The design is scaleable from large male to child sizes. The design is strong, light and efficient to produce making it ideal for the upper-limb amputee market.
67
2.0 1. An actuating device resembling a hand of a human being, the device comprising: a hand assembly having a hand skeleton frame, the assembly comprising; at least one finger, the finger comprising a finger distal phalanx structural member, a finger proximal phalanx structural member, a finger metacarpal structural member or hand skeleton frame structural member, a first finger hinge structure at the distal inter-phalangeal joint or intermediate to the finger distal phalanx structural member and the finger proximal phalanx structural member, a second finger hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the finger proximal phalanx structural member and the finger metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member, a cross-link ligament coupled to the distal phalanx structural member at one end and coupled to the metacarpal or hand skeleton frame structural member at an opposite end, a tendon coupled to the proximal phalanx structural member whereby selective tension in the tendon causes the proximal phalanx member to rotate and the cross-link member to tighten, which causes the distal phalanx member to rotate inward.
3.02. The actuating device of claim /, further comprising: a plurality of fingers coupled to a hand skeleton frame.
SL,θ1
%P 3. The actuating device of claim / further comprising: a thumb coupled to the hand frame, the thumb comprising
68 a thumb distal phalanx structural member fused to a thumb proximal phalanx structural member, a thumb metacarpal structural member, a first thumb hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint intermediate to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and the thumb metacarpal structural member, and a second thumb hinge structure at the carpometacarpal joint intermediate to the thumb metacarpal and the hand skeleton frame.
104. The actuating device of claim /> wherein the thumb further comprises:
*v an elastic hinge which connects the thumb distal phalanx structural member to the thumb proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb proximal phalanx structural member to the metacarpal structural member and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, and a thumb elastic hinge which connects the thumb metacarpal structural member to the hand frame and keeps the thumb straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
105. The actuating device of claim/, further comprising a plurality of fingers wherein a first finger supported by the hand skeleton frame, the first finger comprising a first distal phalanx structural member, a first proximal phalanx structural member, a first first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first distal phalanx structural member and the first proximal phalanx structural member, and a second first-finger elastic hinge structure intermediate to the first proximal phalanx structural member and the hand skeleton frame.
Qo6. The actuating device of claim i wherein the plurality of fingers comprises four fingers and wherein each one of the four fingers comprises:
69 a distal phalanx structural member, a proximal phalanx structural member, a first-finger elastic hinge structure at the distal interphalangeal joint which is intermediate to the distal phalanx structural member and the proximal phalanx structural member and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation, a second-finger elastic hinge structure at the metacarpophalangeal joint which is intermediate to the proximal phalanx structural member and coupling to the hand skeleton frame; and keeps the finger straight unless it receives actuation or deviation.
207. The device of claim ^ wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the thumb metacarpal structural member.
In another embodiment the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb first cross-link ligament, the thumb first cross-link ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand frame. a thumb actuator couples to the thumb metacarpal structural member, whereby actuation of the thumb actuator enables the thumb metacarpal structural member to move inwards. When the thumb metacarpal structural member is actuated the thumbs cross-link ligament causes the middle phalanx and the fused distal and proximal phalanx members to pivot about the first thumb hinge structure and the second thumb hinge structure.
2.08. The device of claim / wherein: the distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first- finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame; a distal end of the first-finger tendon couples to the first- finger proximal phalanx and the proximal end couples to the first-finger actuator; the first-finger tendon passes into the hand frame, and the first-finger actuator being disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first- finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move
70 inwards, pivoting about the first finger proximal hinge structure, the first finger ligament enables and the distal first-finger hinge structure to pivot. ,09. The device of claim /^wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger tendon is attached to the first-finger proximal phalanx, the first-finger tendon coupling to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure;
$ 10. The device of claim £ wherein: for a first finger, a first-finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a first-finger ligament, the first-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton frame. A first-finger proximal phalanx is coupled to a first-finger actuator disposed in the hand skeleton frame, whereby activation of the first-finger actuator enables the proximal phalanx structural member to move inwards, upon actuation of the proximal phalanx the first-finger cross-link ligament enables the distal phalanx to be pivoted about the proximal finger hinge structure and the distal first finger hinge structure; and for a second, third, and fourth fingers respectively, a corresponding finger distal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a corresponding-finger ligament, the corresponding-finger ligament having a proximal end coupling to the hand skeleton structure;
2.01.
2 11. The first thumb hinge structure of claim ^further comprising: a hinge-knuckle body having a curvilinear top surface to resemble the appearance of a human knuckle when the associated finger-member articulates to a closed position.
^ 12. The hinge structure of claim i further comprising:
71 an elastic hinge coupled to the proximal phalanx and distal phalanx; and an elastic hinge coupled to the distal phalanx and metacarpal; and an elastic hinge coupled to the metacarpal and hand frame.
5.13. The device of claim j[ further comprising: a hand comprising a chassis; at least one rechargeable power supply unit mounted on the chassis, a controller means for converting input signals to transmission signals to at least one actuator mounted on the chassis, the input signals being received from an input sensor; a sending means for transmitting the transmission signals from the controller to the at least one actuator, and the power supply unit further comprising a power-supply coupling means for providing power to the controller.
Jl 14. In one preferred embodiment each finger and the thumb are actuated by their own actuator, this enables each finger to be actuated independently.
2, 15. in one preferred embodiment the arm and hand can be produced in a stereo lithography or sintering method. Through this method the arm and hand can be produced in one assembly of parts or as separate parts to be assembled. Also this method has an option of metallic coating the arm or hand which can also be used to make a very strong and light arm and hand.
Figure imgf000075_0001
*2J6. The device of claim /^wherein: the thumb's fused distal and proximal phalanx structural member couples to a distal end of a thumb tendon, the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb proximal phalanx , the thumb tendon passes through a pre-determined position inside the thumb metacarpal,
72 the thumb tendons proximal end terminates at the thumb actuator, the thumb actuator is housed in the forearm, hand skeleton structure or the thumb metacarpal.
2.17. In one preferred embodiment the actuator to drive the fingers to a closed position is a parallel linear actuator. This consists of a motor and gear head, which connects to a rotary rod, which connects to a linear transference device, which transfers the rotary action to a linear action. The distance the linear actuator moves is measured by a potentiometer or similar device or an encoder.
518. In one preferred embodiment the actuators pull the base of the fingers to enable them to close. The return of the fingers is achieved through the spring of the skin or an elastic membrane attached to each finger.
219. In one preferred embodiment the finger tips have a soft sleeve over them to protect the skin from wear.
220. In one embodiment the actuators can be increased in size and strength to suit the needs of each amputee. Or a stronger, larger motor can be used in an actuator which is used to actuate more than one finger.
0.21. In one embodiment of the present invention the finger or thumb incorporates a metacarpal joint which allows sideways impact. When the finger receives impact from the side, it deviates sideways. After deviation the elasticity of the skin returns the finger to the default or straight position.
222. In one embodiment of the present invention the metacarpal joint of the fingers and thumb resemble a ball and socket joint, this could take the form of a radial axel bearing or the like. The design of this joint allows for full open and close articulation of the digit and also allows for sideways impact to a maximum of 30 degrees.
73 3θ1. An actuating device resembling a wrist or elbow joint of a human being, the device comprising: an assembly having a wrist/elbow skeleton frame, the assembly comprising; two motors, when driven in opposing directions they rotate the forearm / elbow (humeral rotation) in both directions, and, two motors, when driven in the same direction they actuate the flexion / extension of the forearm / elbow in both directions.
302. The actuating device of claim ((.further comprising: attached to each motor is a worm, which is attached to a worm wheel, the rotary motion of the worm drives the rotary motion of the worm wheel,
?ol
303. The actuating device of claim^ further comprising: the worm wheel is attached to a pivot or shaft which transfers the rotary motion,
304. The actuating device of claim/i further comprises: the pivot or shaft passes through a bearing or housing which allows the pivot accurate and free movement,
305. The actuating device of claim £ further comprises: the pivot attaches to a bevel gear, each of the motor bevel gears are arranged in a mirror image to one another,
30I
306. The actuating device of claim^further comprises: a third bevel gear, which is joined by a housing to the two motor bevel gears,
74 3°7. The actuating device of
Figure imgf000078_0001
further comprises: this third bevel gear is attached to a flexible non twisting line or universal joint,
308. The actuating device of claim / further comprises: the universal joint or non twisting line which is connected to bearings or the like inside the wrist / elbow housing which allow for smooth rotational movement,
309. The actuating device of claim £ further comprises:
The universal joint or non twisting line attaches to the socket of the amputee, thus allowing the rotational force to be driven from the socket through the housing to the joint, which results in the whole housing rotating around the socket of the amputee.
310. The actuating device of claim ^further comprises: a means of attaching prosthetic fingers, hands or terminal devices, wrist / forearms, elbows, humeral sections and shoulder joints.
311. The device of claim ^ further comprising: at least one rechargeable power supply unit mounted on the chassis, a controller means for converting input signals to transmission signals to at least one actuator mounted on the chassis, the input signals being received from an input sensor; a sending means . for transmitting the transmission signals from the controller to at least one actuator, and the power supply unit further comprising a power-supply coupling means for providing power to the controller.
$ 12. In one preferred embodiment the wrist and elbow housings have a soft sleeve over them to protect the skin from wear, to give a more realistic appearance and to protect the mechanism.
75
13. In one embodiment the actuators can be increased in size and strength to suit the needs of each amputee.
76
PCT/GB2009/001894 2008-08-11 2009-07-31 A device resembling a part of the human body which is able to be actuated WO2010018358A2 (en)

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