Dexterity of a dexterous prosthetic hand [prototype, DARPA]

This video does not so much show control of a prosthetic hand by an amputee. Much rather, this shows what can be done using a really dexterous prosthetic hand, the MPL Modular Prosthetic Limb. The demonstration does make a strong case for dexterous prosthetic hands that also include wrist flexion, extension as well as pronation and supination.

Grabbing soft ball. Piece of cake for any prosthesis, not too interesting.

Grabbing plastic bottle. Alright, plastic bottles seem to abound in any prosthetic lab these days. These can also be handled using body powered technology.

Using tools - pliers. Absolutely great. No current prosthetic hand can do that, what is shown here is ground breaking.

Manipulating clothes pins. Very nice demo, but as it appears the clothes pins are not your average supermarket variety but more your clumsy prosthetic hand finger variety. Still, extremely finely graded grip options are demonstrated with subtle finger movements that make them happen.

Very impressive.

So apparently and as we read, the APL (Applied Physics Laboratory) of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) got sponsored by the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) in order to develop the MPL (Modular Prosthetic Limb, shown above) under the DARPA's so-called RP 2009 (Revolutionizing Prosthetics). The software written for and used to control the MPL is called LMC (large motor control software). The APL has an OTT (Office of Technology Transfer) where a certain Heather Curran appears to act as TMM (technology and marketing manager).

HDT Robotics now appears to be a business unit of HDT Global (Solon, Ohio) (the meaning of HDT is unknown despite clearly being an acronym). They build advanced military robots and seem to have paid licensing fees to the OTT of JHU's APL. The royalty payments serve to help fund the APL's ongoing commercialization efforts.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Dexterity of a dexterous prosthetic hand [prototype, DARPA]; published June 15, 2011, 20:39; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1582664078, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Dexterity of a dexterous prosthetic hand [prototype, DARPA]}}, month = {June},year = {2011}, url = {}}