The Vincent Evolution is clearly an advanced bionic hand. But while it has distributors in the United States, it lacks documentation and videos in English. The purpose of this article is to make you aware of the Evolution and to tell you where you can find more information.
What’s On This Page?
- A Quick Look at the Vincent Evolution
- Grip Patterns & Control System
- Thumb Rotation
- Proportional Speed Control
- Adaptive Grip
- Sensory Feedback
- Wrist Design
- Lift Capacity & Grip Strength
- Water and Dust Resistance
- Glove Options
- User Software
- Suitability for Above-the-Elbow Solutions
- Testing the Vincent Evolution with Various Tasks
- User Feedback Survey & Results
- Considerations Before Buying a Vincent Evolution
- Related Information
A Quick Look at the Vincent Evolution
The following video is a quick look at the Evolution (visuals only with no sound):
For a more informative overview, we direct you to Jan Butaye, who is an experienced user of the hand. Here, he gives a fairly in-depth description of the hand’s features. Note, however, that he is describing the Vincent Evolution 3 whereas the current version of the hand is now the Vincent Evolution 4.
Vincent Evolution Key Features
Grip Patterns & Control System
The Vincent Evolution offers up to 15 different grip patterns. You can see pictures of most of these grip patterns here. Note, if you wish to read any of the text, you will have to ask Google/Bing to translate it.
The device also has an integrated four-channel control system that allows up to four EMG sensors to be connected to the hand. The user can then choose between two control methods: single-signal control or multi-channel control.
Single-signal control allows users to select the different grip patterns with just one switching signal, i.e. by rotating through the options.
Multi-channel control allows users to select specific grip patterns using a combination of switching signals.
The Vincent Evolution automatically positions its thumb based on the selected grip.
Proportional Speed Control
Proportional speed control means that the hand will close with a speed and force that correlates to the strength of the muscle action used to trigger the close signal. A number of the videos on the Vincent Evolution suggest that it has this feature but we have yet to receive official confirmation from Vincent Systems.
The Vincent Evolution has a feature called “Adaptive Grip”. We have not been able to verify the exact details of how this feature works but it appears to use bow strings in the fingers to ensure that each grip automatically conforms to the shape of the object being grasped. If we are right about this feature, it is different from the finger stalling techniques used in other bionic hands.
The Evolution is one of the few commercial bionic hands to offer sensory feedback. Sensors in the fingers trigger vibrations in the hand to tell users when they have come into contact with an object and how much pressure they are applying to it.
The Vincent Evolution appears to offer several options, including both a short wrist and a Quicksnap model, which we presume is similar to other quick disconnect wrists. Both options include a variation with flexion/extension, which allows up to 18 degrees of movement in either direction.
Lift Capacity & Grip Strength
Unfortunately, we do not have specific data on the Evolution’s lift capacity or grip strength. The only English description we can find is that the Evolution “has a high grip strength”.
We know that the Vincent Evolution is made from a combination of stainless steel and a high-strength magnesium-aluminum alloy, which suggests that it was designed to be durable.
However, we rely mostly on the results of our User Satisfaction Survey for an objective assessment of durability. And because this article and the associated survey are new, it will likely be a few months before we have sufficient participants to publish results.
Water and Dust Resistance
The Evolution has an IP rating of 68. This means that it can be submerged in more than one meter of water and is also considered dustproof.
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The Vincent Evolution can be used with or without a cosmetic glove.
We do not have any information on the Evolution’s batteries.
The Evolution does indeed offer software and this software appears to be advanced:
Unfortunately, the only information that we have about it is:
- it goes by the name of “VincentMobile”;
- it allows for settings to be changed;
- it can be used to “train” for various grips.
However, we do not know whether it is available to end-users or it is strictly a tool for prosthetists.
Suitability for Above-the-Elbow Solutions
The Vincent Evolution can be used as the hand component in above-the-elbow solutions. As long as the master control system (i.e. either an electric elbow or a pattern recognition system) sends the appropriate control signals, the Evolution will respond accordingly.
According to our information, the Evolutions sells for between $30,000 and $40,000 US for a typical below-the-elbow solution, including all prosthetist fees.
For a complete list of prices for other bionic hands, please see our Bionic Hand Price List.
Despite looking far and wide, we have been unable to find the official warranty documentation for the Evolution. When we do, we will update this section.
Testing the Vincent Evolution with Various Tasks
Because our official information on the Evolution is limited, we are including the following videos from Jan Butaye’s YouTube channel showing him using the hand to attempt specific tasks, starting with brushing his hair:
This next video shows Jan attempting three challenges: 1) starting a lighter, 2) opening a jar of pickles, 3) counting to five:
What’s interesting about this video is the hand’s failure in the first two challenges, i.e. starting a lighter and opening a jar of pickles. To investigate this further, we have asked someone who has both an Ottobock Michelangelo Hand and a TASKA Hand to perform the same tasks. If that happens, we’ll report back on the results.
In this next video, which we find pretty impressive, Jan successfully threads a needle:
Here, he attempts and ultimately succeeds in throwing a ball:
In this next video, Jan successfully opens a door using electronic wrist rotation, which we think is pretty cool!
And here he makes a cup of coffee, though he apparently struggled with this during his practice runs:
This time, Jan uses the Vincent Evolution for writing. Notice that the absence of a grip — specifically, the Tripod Grip — forces him to improvise:
Thanks very much to Jan for making these videos. Having gone through them, we find ourselves wishing that we could get similar demonstrations for every bionic hand.
User Feedback Survey & Results
Are you currently using the Vincent Evolution 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 Vincent Evolution.
As soon as we do, we’ll update this section.
Considerations Before Buying the Vincent Evolution
The Evolution is an intriguing device. Its unique combination of advanced capabilities and a reasonable price make it worthy of further examination.
To achieve that, you likely need to contact one of Vincent Systems’ distributors (i.e. clinics that sell the hand).
We have done this ourselves and will update this article as soon as we receive answers to our questions.
For a list of competitor devices, see All Bionic Hands.
For a complete description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our comprehensive guide.
If you are shopping for a bionic hand, do not miss our article on Bionic Hand Control Systems. Getting this part of your bionic system right is probably the biggest single ingredient in your long-term satisfaction.
Click here for more information on Vincent Systems.