Figure 1: Active Prosthetic Arm Final Design

Active Prosthetic

This active Prosthetic was designed provide a new inexpensive arm to below the elbow amputees. The new hand is able to sense touch and allow the amputee grip and motion that had been lost.


Hands are essential to daily life. Whether it is interacting with others or with one’s environment, people rely on their hands for functionality, feedback, and control. For amputees, using prostheses can cost thousands of dollars. This financial burden is higher for child amputees because they need replacements as they grow. This project aimed to create an affordable active prosthetic device for children with upper limb amputations. This solution uses 3D printing technology to leverage both mechanical and electrical engineering. This device provides haptic feedback and control to its user at an affordable price. Using the client's toes, they can control the device with precision. The child that receives the arm will have a prosthetic that allows for greater control, functionality, and feedback for a low cost. The active prosthesis will also be released as open source for people to use around the world.

Project Description:

This project aims to provide an affordable prosthetic for below-elbow amputees and can provide them with a sense of touch. The prosthetic can be easily replicated and sized for and by each individual. It can provide a sense of touch via pressure sensors and vibrations.


This device provides below the elbow amputees with an active prosthetic arm that is affordable, functional, and controllable. Low cost prosthetics are available through Enable. Enable is worldwide group that provides open source mechanical prosthetics for people in need. However, the devices are limited. This project expands on their goal to share prosthetic design around the world.


Dr. Kyle Winfree

Professor at Northern Arizona University


Nate and Amanda

Our Clients are Nate, a young Arizona boy, and his mother, Amanda. Nate does not have a complete forearm and the residual limb extends past his elbow.

Other clients will include amputees around the world with access to the Enable Website and can access these CAD designs.

Technical advisor:

Dr. Sarah Oman

Professor at Northern Arizona University

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