The touch sensing hand prosthesis
of the next generation

VINCENT evolution 2

  • Anatomic Design
  • Compact, leight-weight, robust
  • Force-Feedback
  • Numerous grip patterns
  • Direct grip patterns Selection
  • Smartphone & Tablet App

VINCENTevolution 2, the world's first touch sensing hand prosthesis, combines a so far not achieved functionality with the least weight and the most compact design in the class of the bionic hand prostheses.

After the VINCENT Systems GmbH introduced the first bionic hand with six motors and could combine individually movable digits with a fully movable thumb for the first time in 2009, now the 2nd generation of this hand prosthesis is available. Its core innovation is the world's smallest and most powerful single finger prosthesis, which can be controlled electronically using muscle signals of the prosthesis wearer.

The VINCENTevolution 2 is a compact and biomechanically optimized hand from a high-strength aluminium alloy. It combines 10 bi-directionally motor driven axes with an innovative control strategy which is unique in the field of hand prostheses. The hand allows an active individual agility of the fingers and the thumb. The springs between the proximal and distal joints also allow an adaptive tension - in accordance with muscles and ligaments of the human hand. Thanks to the lateral movement of the opposable thumb to the ring finger, this hand is currently the most versatile prosthesis on the market, which makes it particularly interesting in terms of the development of new control strategies.

The new prosthesis combines a so far not achieved functionality with the least weight and the most compact design in this product class. For the first time, anatomical proportions are achieved. A soft shell adaptation creates a natural feel similar to human skin. With the VINCENTevolution 2 it is possible to have a nearly natural movement of the hand. Furthermore, the VINCENTevolution 2 is the world's first commercial hand prosthesis with a sense of touch giving the prosthesis wearer a force feedback. The sentient prosthesis should stimulate the sensory area of the cerebral cortex by selective stimulation of receptors on the arm stump and thus has a positive effect on phantom pain and also makes gripping of goods easier and safer.

Selection of grip patterns

Controling

The movement abilities of a modern, cybernetic, multi- articulating prosthetic hand are many and varied. Conventional methods of myoelectric control of all available functions of the prosthesis push the cognitive capacity of the prosthesis wearer to the limit. In order to switch between grip types and grasping patterns, prosthetic control units currently in operation make use of transponders, buttons or remote controls. Taking the control logic of the VINCENTevolution2 as an example, Vincent Systems presents a possibility of reproducing in a very short time a selection of 12 grip types, more than 20 hand positions and random intermediate positions solely with two EMG signals and without additional aids. If only the end positions of the individual finger joints are considered, 64 different hand positions alone can be deduced in the case of six motors in the hand.

Even if the number of meaningful, useful grips will lie far below this figure, the direct and proportional controllability of the new prosthetic hands constitutes a huge challenge, coupled with the same degree of potential. The objective is to develop a control strategy which is easy to learn and insensitive to interference and which makes the scope of movement of new prosthetic systems available in a practical, everyday form without the use of additional technical aids

This grip selection should not present any major cognitive challenge to the prosthesis wearer. By means of the fixed arrangement of all available grips in the system, physical imprinting of the sensorimotor cortex of the prosthesis wearer’s cerebral cortex should stimulate intuitive incorporation into his or her own body image. The basic idea behind the control model is that the user need only memorize a single switching signal – the so-called Trigger. The Trigger signal in this case can be a randomly chosen signal or a signal sequence such as Peek or Double-Peek or a co-contraction. To enable selection, this single Trigger signal is combined with the natural “open”, “close” and signal pause. The first five grip groups are directly attainable from a central hand position. The associated grip types in each case are reached from there with the Trigger signal.

Force-Feedback

To be able to grip an object securely and to assess its characteristics, we use not only our eyes, but primarily our sense of touch via the hands. Prosthesis wearers lack this sensory information provided by the fingertips. In addition, the sense of touch in the arm or hand stump is also considerably limited due to the prosthesis shaft. The day-to-day realization of a sense of touch in a prosthesis presents the specific problem of relaying this sensory information from the prosthesis back to the wearer. Irrespective of the type of feedback mechanism, both the receptors in the skin and our brain adjust to this “alien stimulus” and react over time by suppressing this “malfunction”. Feedback can no longer be perceived in a differentiated manner. For the first time, a force feedback system has been developed for inclusion as standard in the VINCENTevolution2 prosthetic system which was suitable for everyday use and considerably mitigated this habituation effect.

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Clinical Partners

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