iLimb Ultra Revolution - global news: a fitting work glove has been found [product tip]

(Updated 10/2018)

Durability of iLimb gloves - given the overall iLimb's failure to really assist with hard grips [link] - is a bit of a joke anyway. Even though, prices are high for replacement gloves. Now, a work glove has been found that fits it.

This is global news as several user forums failed to elicit cogent answers. Also, a request to the prosthetist who allegedly had forwarded that problem to Touch Bionics also failed to elicit a useful reply. That means that, again, this website digs into uncharted terrain.






As becomes visible, the hand can extend and close without too much problems already with XL sized gloves.

Currently the WonderGrip 10/XL provides an almost too tight fit but it works

Here are some Amazon product links to what should work reasonably well:

With that, the grip also improves and less force may be required for a better grip.

However, the absolute king of all work gloves is this puppy (and while you are at it, make sure you go order a wide sample off the wonderful Airgas glove department online store) (size 11 for the iLimb, did I say that):



Remember, you read that here first. Just as you read the use for nitrile covered work gloves on Becker hands here first, too, already in 2009, to be a bit more exact:

So, thank you, welcome, gotta say this all by myself as it appears. I am quite selfish with pioneering these cross label usage experiences. Check the insane precision grip performance of the work glove equipped Becker hand here:

It is with some satisfaction that I can now report that others started to routinely feature (orange colored, even!) work gloves on their research  as well. This proves that this site, after all, has significant impact on grip quality all over:

From Godfrey, Sasha B., Matteo Bianchi, Kristin Zhao, Manuel Catalano, Ryan Breighner, Amanda Theuer, Karen Andrews, Giorgio Grioli, Marco Santello, and Antonio Bicchi. "The softhand pro: Translation from robotic hand to prosthetic prototype." In Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation II, pp. 469-473. Springer, Cham, 2017 [1]:

Interestingly, the authors do not even once mention the fact that they massively enhance the grip performance of their device using a work glove, or maybe even undisclosed padding beneat. They describe their method as follows: "As mentioned above, the Pisa/IIT SoftHand was initially designed as a robotic hand intended for use on humanoid robots. The embodied intelligence of the SoftHand’s mechanics suggested it had potential as a prosthetic hand that would not require complex control input from the user. In order to test this theory, it first had to be modified to be more suitable for prosthetic applications. In particular, the overall
size of the hand was reduced to better approximate a large male hand. Further, the electronics were reduced in size, modified to interface with commercial electrodes (Otto Bock, Germany), and moved to the back of the hand to create a more compact
design. To better interface with a prosthetic socket, a quick disconnect style wrist component was developed that allowed manual pronation and supination; further, the wrist was flexibly connected to the SoftHand Pro to allow passive wrist flexion and extension. Finally, a smaller and lower voltage motor was incorporated to allow use of a smaller, lighter-weight battery. For each subject, a custom prosthetic socket was built by a certified prosthetist. Three myoelectric controllers were developed to enable the subject to control the SoftHand Pro even if he/she had limited control of the activity of his/her residual muscles. All three allowed proportional control of opening and closing of the hand and held position when the subject’s muscle activity fell below a minimum threshold. The first mode (Differential) regulated prosthetic activity by balancing the input from the two signals, which allowed the user to fine-tune the signal and rapidly switch direction. To assist subjects with difficulty managing coactivation, the second mode (First Come, First Served, FCFS) responded to whichever muscle crossed the minimum threshold first; once it fell below threshold, direction could be switched. The final mode (FCFS +) was similar but required both signals to fall below the minimum threshold before the direction of activation could be changed; effectively, this requires the subject to relax both muscles before switching direction, thus enabling more precise but slower control (Fig. 1)."[1]

(C) Copyright Springer

And from Godfrey, Sasha Blue, Kristin D. Zhao, Amanda Theuer, Manuel G. Catalano, Matteo Bianchi, Ryan Breighner, Divya Bhaskaran et al. "The SoftHand Pro: Functional evaluation of a novel, flexible, and robust myoelectric prosthesis." PLOS ONE 13, no. 10 (2018): e0205653 [2]

(C) Copyright PLOS or its licensors

Here, the method section describing the hand mentions a glove, but neither references its particular choice nor any evaluation: "As mentioned above, the SoftHand Pro (SHP) draws inspiration from the 19-degree of freedom Pisa/IIT SoftHand [20]. In brief, the SHP, like its predecessor, is an anthropomorphic prosthetic hand that follows the first kinematic hand movement synergy, as defined by principal component analysis [21], to coordinate all movements of the fingers and thumb using a single motor. The joints of the fingers are floating joints brought into proximity axially by elastic bands on the dorsal side, rather than rigidly fixed together allowing flexion/extension but not separation, as can be found in commercial prostheses. This non-rigid coupling provides two of the key features of the SoftHand and SoftHand Pro that, to our knowledge, are not found in other devices. First, the synergistic pattern the hand follows acts as a kind of “baseline trajectory” in the absence of interaction forces but allows for deviations in their presence to enable a conformal grasp, due not only to the aforementioned non-rigid coupling but also the SHP’s differential drive. Second, the joints are able to hyperextend, twist, or even dislocate temporarily and then return to position automatically. This ability was designed to increase the robustness of the SH and SHP, preventing damage in the event of unexpected impacts or collisions. Further, this robustness can be particularly useful in taking advantage of object properties and features of the surrounding environment, together the environmental constraints, to enable new grasp patterns. Fig 1 shows the SHP on its own and grasping a large (6 cm) square tube as well as close-ups of some of the less-conventional joint features (hyperextension not shown). Note: the SHP is used with a glove to improve grasping but is shown here without one to illustrate various features more clearly. The grasp image shows the proximal interphalangeal joint of the index finger and the metacarpal phalangeal joint of the middle finger out of alignment with respect to more proximal segments; the misalignment results from the flexible joint design and enables a conformal grasp. For more detail on the mechanical implementation and demonstration of these features, please see Catalano et al. 2014 and Bonilla et al. 2014 [20, 24]." [1]

All the while, snatching any (even an arm amputee's) idea, whether it made the rounds across academia or not, and using it without referencing it, is only cool to a certain degree. It is cool, to a certain degree, don't get me wrong here, after all they need to keep a sharp eye on what I was and keep doing - but to just use an idea without giving credit does show a certain lack of respect.

[1] S. B. Godfrey, M. Bianchi, K. Zhao, M. Catalano, R. Breighner, A. Theuer, K. Andrews, G. Grioli, M. Santello, and A. Bicchi, "The softhand pro: Translation from robotic hand to prosthetic prototype," in Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation II, Springer, 2017, pp. 469-473.
  title={The softhand pro: Translation from robotic hand to prosthetic prototype},
  author={Godfrey, Sasha B and Bianchi, Matteo and Zhao, Kristin and Catalano, Manuel and Breighner, Ryan and Theuer, Amanda and Andrews, Karen and Grioli, Giorgio and Santello, Marco and Bicchi, Antonio},
  booktitle={Converging Clinical and Engineering Research on Neurorehabilitation II},
[2] S. B. Godfrey, K. D. Zhao, A. Theuer, M. G. Catalano, M. Bianchi, R. Breighner, D. Bhaskaran, R. Lennon, G. Grioli, M. Santello, and others, "The SoftHand Pro: Functional evaluation of a novel, flexible, and robust myoelectric prosthesis," PLOS ONE, vol. 13, iss. 10, p. e0205653, 2018.
  title={The SoftHand Pro: Functional evaluation of a novel, flexible, and robust myoelectric prosthesis},
  author={Godfrey, Sasha Blue and Zhao, Kristin D and Theuer, Amanda and Catalano, Manuel G and Bianchi, Matteo and Breighner, Ryan and Bhaskaran, Divya and Lennon, Ryan and Grioli, Giorgio and Santello, Marco and others},
  journal={PLOS ONE},
  publisher={Public Library of Science}

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: - iLimb Ultra Revolution - global news: a fitting work glove has been found [product tip]; published 25/05/2014, 12:38; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1634375343, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{ - iLimb Ultra Revolution - global news: a fitting work glove has been found [product tip]}}, month = {May}, year = {2014}, url = {} }