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.
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.
Grip Patterns & Control Systems
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.
Electronically Positioned Thumb
The Vincent Evolution electronically (automatically) positions its thumb based on the selected grip.
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.
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.
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. But we currently lack any test data to prove this.
Water & 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.
The only other bionic hand that offers this level of water and dust resistance is the Taska Hand.
Device Size & Weight
The Vincent Evolution is available in sizes ranging from 145 mm long to 180 mm long. This should meet all teenage & adult hand size requirements.
The official weight for the Evolution is less than 400 grams when combined with a wrist ablation system.
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.
Unfortunately, we do not have any information on the Evolution’s price. For a complete list of prices for other bionic hands, please see our Bionic Hand Price List.
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 Jan 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.
Considerations Before Buying Vincent Evolution
The Evolution is an intriguing device. Depending on its price, its unique combination of advanced capabilities makes 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 more information on upper limb bionics, see Understanding Bionic Arms & Hands.
For a list of competitor devices, see All Bionic Hands.
If you are shopping for a bionic hand, do not miss our article on Myoelectric 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.