Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.


Mechanical Engineering; Bioengineering

First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri

Second Advisor

Christopher Kitts


In developing countries such as India, there is a higher rate of amputations among the population but a lack of viable, low cost solutions. Through a partnership with Indian non-profit Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the team designed a functional, robust, and low cost electrically powered prosthetic hand that communicates with people with unilateral, transradial amputations in urban India through a biointerface. The device uses compliant tendon actuation, small linear servos, and a wearable sleeve outfitted with electromyography (EMG) sensors to produce a device that, once placed inside a prosthetic glove, is anthropomorphic in both look and feel. The hand is capable of forming three grips through the use of a manually adjustable opposable thumb: the key, pinch, and wrap grips. The hand also provides vibrotactile user feedback upon completion of a grip. The design includes a prosthetic gel liner to provide a layer of cushion and comfort for safe use by the user. These results show that it is possible to create a low cost, electrically powered prosthetic hand for users in developing countries without sacrificing functionality. In order for this design to be truly adjustable to each user, the creation of an easily navigable graphical user interface (GUI) will have to be a future goal.

The prosthesis prototype was developed such that future groups can design for manufacturing and distribution in India.