Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type



Biomedical Engineering

Director of Thesis

Hope E. Holt

Second Reader

Akrm Abdalrahman


My Honors Thesis was completed through the Biomedical Engineering senior design project I worked on. Our project took a mechanically operated 3D printed prosthetic hand and automated the process by which it makes a grasp. The purpose of this project was to provide an affordable, automatic prosthetic hand to those either capable and incapable of wrist flexion. The current 3D printed prosthetic models require users to bend their wrist to initiate a simple grasp. However, our design took an alternative approach by using an EMG sensor placed on the ventral side of the forearm to record muscle activity, which, upon meeting a threshold value, would enact the grasp function. To achieve a fully-automated grasp, we also had to integrate a micro-linear actuator and an Arduino microcontroller to the base model. These three electronic sensors and processors worked together to communicate with each other, so that when muscle activations were strong enough in the forearm, the prosthetic device would appropriately execute a grasp.

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