Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Tina Smilkstein


In this project we developed a prosthetic hand that is controlled by myoelectric signals from the forearm. The forearm signals were filtered and amplified to be easier read by a microcontroller. The microcontroller then generated signals to control the mechanical hand based on these myoelectric input signals. This is done by the microcontroller increasing the pulse width sent to several servos making up the hand. The larger the pulse width the more flexed the hand becomes until it reaches the maximum programmed into it. In order to open the hand the high input to the microcontroller must be deactivated and then reactivated for the pulse width to begin decreasing.

Several designs and products are currently available online as complicated limbs and hands for amputees, however many of these can be costly and heavy. This project has taken inspiration from these designs with the goal of reducing cost and weight without sacrificing functionality. One major advantage of our project is the dry reusable electrodes used to capture the myoelectric signals in the forearm. The silver coated cloth functions as an electrode with the help of a pushbutton from a tarp making kit. This electrode is reusable and remains in the same place in the sleeve it is sewn into for ease of use.