Current Options for Above-the-Elbow Bionic Arms

Above-the-Elbow Bionic Arm Feature Image

Unless you’re willing to pay the premium price of complete, modular bionic arms like the Atom Touch or the LUKE Arm (which are worth the extra money — we just wish more people could afford them!), those needing above-the-elbow bionic solutions will likely have to piece them together using multiple components. Except for an all-Ottobock solution, those components will likely come from different manufacturers.

Because compatibility between components can be an issue and suitability for each prospective end-user is always an issue, you will need a prosthetist to help you do this. But you should still do your own homework, as the choice of components can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Below, we provide three separate lists of components:

  • complete, modular arms;
  • electric elbows, which also act as control platforms for all the other components; and
  • bionic hands that can interface with other components.

We are still working on our lists of bionic wrists and shoulder joint options.

Complete, Modular Arms

Atom Touch from Atom Limbs

Some will refer to the Atom Touch as the commercial version of the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) developed by John Hopkins University. But it is more than that, with notable enhancements in durability, artificial intelligence, and sensory feedback.

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Mobius Bionics LUKE Arm

The LUKE Arm is one of two bionic arms to come out of DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, and the only commercial arm to offer a powered shoulder option.

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Electric Elbows

Ottobock ErgoArm

Ottobock’s ErgoArm comes in four different models. Two of these — the ErgoArm Hybrid Plus and ErgoArm Electronic Plus — are compatible with bionic hands.

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Motion Control Utah Arm

Motion Control’s Utah Arm is a microprocessor-controlled electric elbow that is compatible with multiple input systems, wrist components, and bionic hands or other terminal devices.

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Ottobock DynamicArm

Ottobock’s DynamicArm is an electric elbow with the ability to flex and extend via myoelectric control. Combined with a rotating wrist and a bionic hand or another terminal device, the DynamicArm can form an integral part of an above-the-elbow solution.

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Steeper Espire Elbow

Steeper’s Espire Elbow comes in five different models. Two of these — the Espire Pro and Espire Hybrid — are compatible with bionic hands.

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Component Bionic Hands

Ottobock Michelangelo Hand

Ottobock’s Michelangelo Hand is one of the most robust and technologically advanced bionic hands on the market. At $60,000 to $70,000 US, it’s also one of the most expensive. The question is: is it worth it?

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Ossur i-Limb Hand

Ossur’s i-Limb hand is one of the world’s most advanced bionic hands. It is also one of the most expensive. The question is: is it worth it?

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TASKA Hand from TASKA Prosthetics

Rugged, waterproof, and capable of operating in dusty environments, the TASKA Hand is the first bionic hand specifically designed to handle activities such as mowing lawns, operating light chain saws or hedge trimmers, and washing the car.

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Ottobock bebionic Hand

Ottobock’s bebionic hand offers 14 grip patterns and a carrying capacity of 45 kgs, which places it in the upper third of bionic hands in these two categories. On the downside, there are rumblings about its durability.

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Vincent Evolution

The Vincent Evolution is clearly an advanced bionic hand and is distributed in the U.S., but it doesn’t provide much English-language documentation.

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COVVI Nexus Hand

The Nexus Hand from COVVI is not a typical first-generation bionic hand. Led by proven industry veterans, COVVI’S team seems to have made key improvements to current mainstream designs.

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BrainRobotics Prosthetic Hand

BrainRobotics is currently undergoing a transition from a single 8-channel bionic hand to two products: a 2-channel hand and an 8-channel hand. We will update this article when that transition is complete.

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Related Information

For a list of all options for below-the-elbow bionic solutions, see Current Options for Bionic Hands.

For a comprehensive description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our complete guide.

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