Pneumatic hand prosthesis project

A project submitted to the faculty of the California Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

The purpose of our project is to explore the viability of pneumatically actuated hand prosthesis. We see this approach as potentially addressing the problem of low grip strength and power endemic to many contemporary mass market hand prosthesis. In addition to the greater power to weight ratios pneumatic actuators are capable of when compared to similarly powerful electronic actuators, they are also significantly less expensive. Together these aspects lend themselves to the possibility of a strong, highly durable, and affordable hand prosthetic. We have built a system that demonstrates some of this utility, designed with rugged and low cost production in mind.