There are two traditional measures of strength when it comes to bionic hands:
- the maximum carrying capacity of the hand in kilograms (passive lift);
- the hand’s maximum grip force in Newtons.
Of these two, only grip force has been studied extensively with natural hands. For example, the average maximum grip force for females using a natural hand is 292 Newtons. The average maximum grip force for males is 517 Newtons. The average grip force used in daily activities is 70 Newtons.
Here is how the strongest bionic hands stack up as of June 2021.
As is the case in so many categories, the Atom Touch, due out in 2024, tops the pack with a maximum grip force of 314 Newtons. That exceeds the average maximum grip force of natural hands for females in their prime.
We don’t yet have a passive load capacity for the Atom Touch’s hand component, but we do know that the full arm can bicep curl slightly more than 20 kilograms. Again, this exceeds the average bicep curl capacity for females using a natural arm.
The Zeus Hand from Aether Biomedical has the highest grip force of bionic hands already on the market, coming in at 152 Newtons. It can also carry 35 kilograms. Not bad for a hand that is substantially less expensive than the other top four contenders in this list!
i-Limb with Titanium Fingers
The titanium versions of any of the i-Limb’s three models (Access, Ultra, Quantum) are beasts, with a maximum carrying capacity of 90 kilograms and a maximum grip force of 136 Newtons.
This low-cost, myoelectric/hydraulic hybrid keeps popping up in interesting places such as this list, with a maximum grip force of 120 Newtons and a maximum carrying capacity of 40 kilograms.
Our article for this device hasn’t yet completed its review process so we can’t link to it, but we can tell you that it has a maximum grip force of 100 Newtons and a maximum carrying capacity of 20 kilograms in its current prototype stage. We’ve also been told that the company is working on increasing both these values.
For a list of all bionic hands currently on the market, see Current Options for Bionic Hands.
For a list of all bionic limbs that can tolerate water, see Waterproof Bionic Limbs.
For a list of the most advanced bionic limbs in each category, see The World’s Most Advanced Bionic Limbs.
For a comprehensive description of all current upper-limb technologies, devices, and research, see our Complete Guide to Bionic Arms & Hands.