The Ottobock Greifer is the strongest upper-limb terminal device on the market, making it ideal for heavy-duty manual work.
What’s On This Page?
- A Quick Look at the Ottobock Greifer
- Grip Patterns & Control System
- Proportional Speed Control
- Sensory Feedback
- Wrist Design
- Lift Capacity & Grip Strength
- Water and Dust Resistance
- Glove Options
- User Software
- Suitability for Above-the-Elbow Solutions
- Clinical Insights
- User Feedback Survey & Results
- Considerations Before Buying An Ottobock Greifer
- Related Information
A Quick Look at the Ottobock Greifer
The following video provides a walkthrough of some of the Greifer’s basic functions:
But this next video shows the true nature of the Greifer. If you’re short on time and want to see the heavy-duty action, skip to the 4:22 mark:
Working a chainsaw like this is not a task that one should take lightly. You should never attempt to do this with a multi-articulating bionic hand, both for the sake of the hand and the safety of the user.
Ottobock Greifer Key Features
Grip Patterns & Control System
Like its corporate cousin, the AxonHook, the Greifer only offers one grip pattern: to open and close.
This may sound limiting but, like the AxonHook, the Greifer has a few features that make it surprisingly adaptable:
- fingertips that can be manually rotated by 60 degrees in either direction to obtain the ideal angle for grasping an object;
- built-in wrist flexion up to 45 degrees in either direction, as well as proportional speed control, both of which we cover in more detail in subsequent sections;
- a manual control wheel on the side that allows the user to set the exact desired opening width for the two fingers;
- a built-in flashlight for better visibility.
The user can exercise control using one of the following input methods:
- one or two myoelectric sensors;
- one myoelectric sensor and one switch;
- one switch;
- one linear transducer.
Proportional Speed Control
When using myoelectric control, the Greifer offers proportional speed control and grip force based on the strength of the user’s muscle signal. The Greifer’s maximum closing speed is only about 2/3 that of the AxonHook but it offers a similar level of fine control, which makes it suitable for more delicate tasks.
The Greifer does not provide any sensory feedback.
The Greifer comes with a Quick Disconnect Wrist, which allows the user to quickly switch between it and a multi-articulating hand.
As mentioned, it offers built-in passive wrist flexion up to 45 degrees in either direction as well as passive rotation. Active rotation does not appear to be an option.
Lift Capacity & Grip Strength
We have not been able to find any information on the Greifer’s maximum lift capacity.
We do know that it has a maximum grip strength of 160 Newtons, which, as far as we know, is the highest in the industry.
The high grip strength is especially relevant for the Greifer because, with its encompassing design, it can fully secure an object in its grasp. To avoid accidentally releasing an object, it also has a special safety mode that only releases a firm grip on an object after an above-average muscle signal is received. Conversely, it has a special safety release to disengage the Greifer if it malfunctions.
It is these unique features that make it possible to perform tasks like operating a chainsaw, as demonstrated in the earlier video.
We rely mostly on the results of our User Satisfaction Survey for an objective assessment of a bionic device’s durability. Because this article and the associated survey are new, it will likely be a few months before we have sufficient participants to publish results.
Having said that, durability seems to be a fundamental aspect of the Greifer’s design, and we have not seen anything in user videos or amputee support forums to suggest otherwise.
Water and Dust Resistance
Although we do not have an official IP rating for the Greifer, we do know from the user manual that is not waterproof or dustproof.
There are no glove options for the Greifer.
The Greifer typically comes with an Ottobock757B35 MyoEnergy Integral battery pack. Although not explicitly stated in the documentation, this type of battery pack is usually designed to last a full day at regular activity levels.
Recharging the battery when completely drained requires around 2.5 hours.
We do not know the expected service life for the battery.
Due to its simplicity, the Greifer does not offer software for the end-user. It does provide adjustment software for clinicians.
Suitability for Above-the-Elbow Solutions
The Greifer can participate in above-the-elbow bionic solutions. We have seen it paired with Ottobock’s DynamicArm, but there is also a version of the Greifer designed for use with components from other manufacturers, so it appears that it can also be used with non-Ottobock elbows.
Based on our information, the Greifer should sell for between $20,000 and $30,000 US for a typical setup, including all socket and prosthetist fees.
For a complete list of prices for upper-limb ETDs, please see our ETD price list.
The Greifer offers a 2-year standard warranty against defects in materials or workmanship under normal use. There is no mandatory service requirement under this warranty, but Ottobock does recommend that the Griefer undergo a service checkup by a trained prosthetist once per year.
There is no extended warranty option.
The following comments are from clinicians with extensive experience with the Greifer:
This is a go-to device for upper-limb patients who like using myoelectric control but prefer the precision of a hook. This device has a strong grip force, the ability to lock the grip in place or manually release it, and the ability to easily turn off the device. The opening and closing are fast and the speed proportionality can offer very fine control. The device also offers a clear view of the object that the patient is trying to manipulate, which can be an issue with multi-articulating hands. On the downside, some find the Greifer a bit heavy, it is not suitable for tasks such as typing on a keyboard or using a mouse, and some patients prefer a multi-articulating hand in social settings.
Tony Gutierrez, Bionic Prosthetics and Orthotics Group
Munster & Lafayette, Indiana
User Feedback Survey & Results
Are you currently using an Ottobock Greifer or have you used it in the past?
If so, why not help others by sharing your experiences in this quick survey:
We do not yet have a sufficient number of survey participants to publish fair and accurate results for the Greifer.
As soon as we do, we’ll update this section.
Considerations Before Buying an Ottobock Greifer
To maintain our neutrality, we rely mostly on feedback from actual end-users to form an opinion about any bionic device.
That having been said, we do believe that most upper-limb end-users need a device like a Greifer or an AxonHook to augment a multi-articulating hand. Based on anecdotal information to date, the Greifer seems like a worthy candidate for this role, especially if the user intends to perform heavy-duty tasks.
However, the Greifer also seems capable enough to be used as a primary device. We’ll try to confirm or refute this as we get more feedback.
For a list of competitor devices, see all upper-limb ETDs.
For a comprehensive description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our complete guide.
Click here for more information on Ottobock Upper-Limb Prosthetics.