My current setup so far only contained two Otto Bock System Hands - this model is a voluntary opening hand with a clamp mechanism. The Otto Bock hand is very nice and useful but obviously current myoelectric hands are more fun due to their adaptive grip options - far too expensive for that bit of electronics they contain, not too functional as they are slow to react, very cumbersome, and due to socket issues painful and not possible for me to wear right now - but far more fun. So I am in search for a good prosthetic terminal device.
Now, I am convinced that a mechanical prosthetic hand or mechanized prosthetic hand can be very cool, very useful, very differentiated and robust and powerful. All one has to do is build it the right way. I am now testing a Becker Lock Grip Hand after Mark Lesek recommended it to me, a light prosthetic mechanical hand of a very sturdy and functional design.
It looks and feels very cool and immediately I adopted it as part of my Red Hand art project :-) I love it as it has something between a cylindric and power grip. It appears to provide mechanically some of what the iLimb provides (but not at the cost of one of these gadget class items - Becker Lock Grip hand: around 600 CHF; iLimb: around 50'000 to 60'000 CHF). I did some side by side comparison and documented functions of the Becker Lock Grip hand comparing it to my other parts and with cable control - and as you can see there, that prosthetic hand is at the mercy of my direct and immediate powerful prosthetic mind control.
I ordered it via Hosmer where they were nice enough to ship internationally. I had my orthopedic technician adapt the cable for my cable lock and the screw for my wrist adapter. That was fixed easily and we all loved the product on first sight.
The hand is sturdy. With all household work, driving and so on, I cannot say it has failed so far. So really, it is not a fragile product at all. It actually performs some work better than my hooks - kitchen and laundry stuff is definitely easier with the Becker hand.
This is a very elegant, beautiful and cool retro looking product. Apparently, there is a way to get an even more durable customized product.
Becker Mechanical Hands can be ordered directly from John Becker.
Here is the contact data:
Becker Mechanical Hand Co.
152 Stevens St W
Saint Paul, MN 55107-2731
United States of America
Manufacturers of the "Finest Mechanical Hand Made" *** If you want the BEST, it's a BECKER MECHANICAL HAND. Yes, were willing to put it in writing -- Dont settle for less! The mission of the BECKER Mechanical Hand Company is to provide the highest QUALITY, most DEPENDABLE, and most DURABLE mechanical hands. This is not a statement, but a commitment at BECKER Mechanical Hand. Specializing in customization, BECKER Mechanical Hand is all about CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. The BECKER Mechanical hands are meant to be used. Customer feedback supports our claims; our customers enjoy the benefits of having a quality, dependable, and durable product with high utility. Prosthetists who value customer satisfaction offer the BECKER Mechanical Hand to their clients. Over 70 years of engineering, manufacturing, and testing make the BECKER Mechanical Hand the standard of excellence throughout the world. BECKER Mechanical Hand stands behind its products with a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. BECKER Mechanical Hand also offers the LARGEST mechanical hands on the market. The Lockgrip model is available up to size 10.
Products of The Becker Mechanical Hand Company include the Lockgrip and Imperial models. Both hands feature:
-- Full 5 finger Voluntary Opening
-- Jointed fingers simulating your knuckle
-- Automatic locking when hand is closed
-- Semi-soft fingertips
-- Tension grip adjustment
-- Oval spring wire covering the fingers
-- Single cable operation
-- No batteries necessary
-- Our 100% Satisfaction GUARANTEE.
The Lockgrip is a wood bodied hand, while the Imperial is constructed with a plastic body, these hands have substance. The Lockgrip is available in sizes 6 to 10. While the Imperial, available in size 8, also has separate 3rd and 4th finger action. The FINGERS WILL FORM AROUND AN IRREGULAR OBJECT. There is no weight restriction on the hand regarding lifting. If you can lift it, the BECKER hand will hold it or we fix it! 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee!!! Custom made hands available upon request. Cosmetic gloves available. For more information: Contact BECKER Mechanical Hand Company.
Views of the hand:
Closed / relaxed hand:
Open / pulled hand:
Ready to type on computer keyboard:
Open and close:
Grabbing my wallet:
I had not had such a firm grip of my wallet since the amputation.
Grabbing round objects:
I started to grab round items very early into using this hand. As you can see I am quite hesitant to this new grip. Will it hold? Will the grip surround the object and be firm enough?
Grab and hold a glass:
This is extremely comfortable - to have the grip wrap around and about 6 kg pressure on the tips.
Grabbing can using Becker Lock Grip hand. Smooth, fast, with one sweep, silent, adaptive and very cool.
Picking and grabbing grapes is one of the coolest benchmarks for a prosthetic hand. Don't try this at home, kids.
Grabbing a cup
Grabbing a cup - such as shown here - is an absolute no brainer with this Becker hand. I want you to see how the fingers wrap the object in what is an *adaptive grip*.
Speed performance demo
I just sat down and figured you may want to compare your prosthetic hand against this so in case you want to test yours, here's how that worked when rearranging some soft balls:
Ultimate test - egg handling using Becker Lock Grip hand
Demonstrating egg handling using a mechanical Becker Lock Grip hand. If you can do that, you can fry your own eggs :) As you see I am not only one hungry person (6 eggs as part of my breakfast) but also, opening eggs that way is a no-brainer (check the frying pan - no accidents there). If you must know - the round white thing to the right (in the frying pan) - that's not an egg shell, that is an onion (another round object that I sliced up using the Becker hand).
Precisely this is why I am not sure the DARPA invested their tax payer's money correctly by *solely* supporting myoelectric technology. Otto Bock also seems to currently neglect the development of sophisticated hand or hooks for cable controlled arms. This is wrong in my view. Cable controlled arms go a far way. You just have to walk that path. This arm is light, robust, does not at all require batteries or electricity, it is very affordable and it also looks technical. The Becker Lock Grip hand can be also ordered customized. If you neglect or ignore this, how are you gonna fry your eggs? Seriously?
Cutting up tomatoes:
That is an issue. Not all hands do that similarly well. And cutting up tomatoes is a must.
Becker Lock Grip hand mechanism
The mechanism is extremely well balanced and sturdy. It also looks like it can be fixed well if at all necessary.
Here is the video of the mechanism in action:
There is no point in copying these... get them from Becker. Saves you a lot of time and you get the real thing. But marvel at the technology!
Keywords: mechanical hand, mechanical hand prosthesis, mechanical prosthetic hand, cable controlled mechanical arm, body powered mechanical hand