SoftHand at the CYBATHLON: A user's experience Olivier Lambercy; Roger Gassert

Sasha Blue Godfrey, Matteo Rossi, Cristina Piazza, Manuel Giuseppe Catalano, Matteo Bianchi, Giorgio Grioli, Kristin D. Zhao, Antonio Bicchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Roughly one-quarter of upper limb prosthesis users reject their prosthesis. Reasons for rejection range from comfort, to cost, aesthetics, function, and more. This paper follows a single user from training with and testing of a novel upper-limb myoelectric prosthesis (the SoftHand Pro) for participation in the CYBATHLON rehearsal to training for and competing in the CYBATHLON 2016 with a figure-of-nine harness controlled powered prosthesis (SoftHand Pro-H) to explore the feasibility and usability of a flexible anthropomorphic prosthetic hand. Methods: The CYBATHLON pilot took part in multiple in-lab training sessions with the SoftHand Pro and SoftHand Pro-H; these sessions focused on basic control and use of the prosthetic devices and direct training of the tasks in the CYBATHLON. He used these devices in competition in the Powered Arm Prosthesis Race in the CYBATHLON rehearsal and 2016 events. Results: In training for the CYBATHLON rehearsal, the subject was able to quickly improve performance with the myoelectric SHP despite typically using a body-powered prosthetic hook. The subject improved further with additional training using the figure-of-nine harness-controlled SHPH in preparation for the CYBATHLON. The Pilot placed 3rd (out of 4) in the rehearsal. In the CYBATHLON, he placed 5th (out of 12) and was one of only two pilots who successfully completed all tasks in the competition, having the second-highest score overall. Conclusions: Results with the SoftHand Pro and Pro-H suggest it to be a viable alternative to existing anthropomorphic hands and show that the unique flexibility of the hand is easily learned and exploited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124
JournalJournal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 29 2017


  • Limb loss
  • Prostheses
  • Robotic hand
  • Upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics


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