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Modular children's hand prostheses

Development of a modular system of application-specific children's hand prostheses

At a glance

  • Project leader : Prof. Dr. Wilfried J. Elspass
  • Project team : Denis Herrmann, Tobias Moser, Fabian Schollenberger
  • Project budget : CHF 150'000
  • Project status : completed
  • Funding partner : Foundation (Stiftung, Zürich)
  • Project partner : Stiftung
  • Contact person : Wilfried J. Elspass


The goal of the development is a modular system of hand prostheses, which is designed with its function and handling child-friendly. This particularly affects the possibility of using the hand prosthesis during sporting activities.

Hand prostheses for children have special requirements: they must be light and robust and the use simple and intuitive, this means if possible, it takes little or no training. Due to body growth and possible damage, especially during sporting activities, it is important that they are adaptable and at the same time cost-effective to manufacture.

A universal prosthesis is not a viable solution due to the requirements for light weight, simplicity of operation and especially the reliable and high-quality functional filling. Therefore, the development of modular, application-specific hand prostheses was decided.

In order to analyze the deformation and strength behavior of the respective prosthesis, simulation and finite element models are created and the mechanical structure is derived therefrom weight-optimized. With a special rendering software photo-realistic pictures are generated. This makes possible, in particular, a very good possibility of judging the design with respect to the aesthetic properties of the prosthesis.

After the system integration, the mechanical structure is produced. The data for the control of the 3D printer are generated from the CAD model and the component with the corresponding material and the pressure parameters dependent on it is layered.

With the availability of all necessary components such as mechanical structure, electronic components (actuators, sensors, signal processing, power supply), the complete hand prosthesis is assembled. Connected with this are the commissioning and test of the functions.

Further information