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2002 - Fluidhand 5

The Fluidhand 5 was designed with the aim of integrating all system components of miniature hydraulics into the metacarpals in order to make the hand compatible with established socket systems. The prosthesis can be connected to all standard prosthetic sockets via a quicksnap wrist. Both the myoelectric sensors and the energy storage of the socket are used. The pump, fluid tank, valve bank and controller are located in and on the metacarpus. With the reduction in tank size, the number of fluidic drive was reduced to 8. The ring finger and little finger are flexed over one drive each. In the weight-optimized frame in sandwich construction, the elastic finger abduction was integrated. Five valves control the 8 drives of the hand, with the ring, little and middle fingers being hydraulically connected to each other.

Each of the 8 bellows-like drives is covered with a fabric that ensures the dimensional stability of the elastic inner chambers when a fluid is pumped into the cavity at a pressure of up to 6bar. The central chambers are fixed at the joint pivot point by loadable cords, thus the expansion of the bellows is redirected into a 90 degree rotational movement of the finger joint. The resetting of a joint is achieved by negative pressure in the bellows drive when the drive chambers are emptied; an elastic band supports the stretching of the joints. For storing the drive medium, usually water, Fluidhand 5 experimented with both foil membrane tanks and pressure storage tanks consisting of an elastic hose tank and a stable housing. 

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