The Contineo Family of upper extremity technologies is derived in part from the Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 Program, a $70 million DARPA Program previously led by Orthocare Innovations Chief Science Officer, Stuart Harshbarger. Orthocare Innovations will introduce the Multi-Grasp Hand as the first commercial product resulting from this program.
It apparently uses a patent-pending next generation control approach. It employs 'a small number of myosites' (possibly more than two?) and uses a variable grasp recognition technology to enact multiple grasp patterns.
Each of the fingers and thumb have both interphalangeal and metacarpal articulation and the thumb features powered abduction/adduction a feature unique in the field. With six distinct grasp patterns and natural anthropomorphic contouring, the Multi-Grasp Hand offers improved function without increasing demands on the user.
The development unit, Contineo Robotics, has an interesting setup and cooperations:
The company will develop robotic hands adept at delicate manipulations, robotic platforms and control systems. The hands will be primarily designed for first responders as well as for military use for handling bombs or explosives. The Contineo Robotics company has just been founded by the principal investigator (PI) of the DARPA project 2009 on robotic prostheses with researchers from Johns Hopkins University. The company has a strong team with solid experience in the robotics field as shown by the numerous distinctions obtained by its designers since 2007: Contineo Robotics leadership has been recognized for significant contributions to Homeland Security & Department of Defense initiatives, prosthetics and dexterous robotics through a spectrum of government, academic and media awards and distinctions. Examples include:
- Exhibition of work at the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2010 Design Triennial "Why Design Now"
- Finalist for an Edison Award, 2010
- Cover Feature, National Geographic Magazine, January 2010
- Selected for an R&D 100 Award, 2009
- Recognition by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) & EE Times ACE Award , Engineering for Humanity, 2009
- Selection of the Modular Prosthetic Limb as a Technology Winner of 2009, IEEE
- Popular Mechanics & Hearst Publishing Breakthrough Award Winner, 2007
- DARPA Tech Finalist, Director's Award for Most Significant Technical Achievement, 2007
- Selection of Dexterous Hand as a Top Scientific Achievement, International Academy of Science, 2007
- Corporate Outstanding Management & Technical Leadership Award for Demonstrated Life Cycle Cost Savings of $100M+, 1999