Team – SoftHand Pro (ITA), Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Speaker: Manuel G. Catalano, Manuel Barbarossa, Maria R. Fossati
The active prosthesis SoftHand Pro is very soft and light, which makes it comfortable to wear. The different drives are connected by tendons, which create fluid movements and allow a flexible and adaptable grip.
SoftHand has been developed since 2012 by the team carrying the same name at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the Centro E. Piaggio of the University of Pisa. The team saw the potential for SoftHand to make a significant contribution to an underserved population and began the development of the prosthetic version of the robotic hand: the SoftHand Pro (EU funded project SoftPro). Their goal at the time was to develop a prosthesis that was robust, reliable and easy to control. recalls team manager Cristina Piazza. "As the prototype became more widely known, we received an increasing number of inquiries from people with amputations who wanted to use the hand.” As a next step, the researchers plan to integrate an active wrist to increase the versatility and possibilities of use. Moreover, the team is know involved in a European project that aims to integrate in the hand haptic feedbacks (Natural BionicS).