SoftHand Pro-P is a prosthesis prototype for partial hand amputation developed within SoftPro, a European project coordinated by Antonio Bicchi, full professor of Robotics at University of Pisa and Senior Scientist at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genova.
The project, which is endorsed by several excellences in the fields of research and clinics, has the main objective to study innovative technologies for hand rehabilitation with the support of experts such as the Italian associations Aidda, (Associazione Italiana Difesa Diritti Amputati), Finp (Federazione Italiana Nuoto Paralimpico), Fioro e Assortopedia. SoftHand, the multi-award robot hand that won, in October, the Grasping Manipulation Challenge (Corea, October 2016), was developed within SofPro project. The innovative mechanical structure gives flexibility and robustness to the hand, even in situations subject to impacts. Fingers, connected by elastic ligaments and built of phalanxes, which roll one over the other, thus replicating the functioning of human joints, can undergo tractions, push-ups and disarticulations, then going back to the right position without any damage. The hand has one actuator and its functioning is based on the neuroscience-based notion of soft synergies.
The SoftHand Pro-P has the same mechanical structure of the SoftHand; its metal components will be built by Ci-Esse. The additive manufacturing department meets the project’s requirements: a very high level of customization, low costs and an optimal strength. Additive technologies allow for the production of complex geometries whose main objective are weight reduction and anatomic compatibility. Moreover several prototypes can be tested and modified within tight schedules.