Pisa – It’s the first one myoelectric prosthesis of an upper limb to be completely customizable externally. It’s about Mia Handthe robotic hand developed by Prensilia Srlspin-off of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa.
A product thanks to which the company was able to position itself among the winners of the Compasso d’Oro 2022, the Italian industrial design award. Daughter of a long period of planning and research by Prensilia, a Tuscan company based in Pontedera, Mia Hand was awarded for the excellent functionality of the product and the innovative orientation towards customization, thus obtaining the historic and authoritative recognition organized by Adi (Association for Industrial Design), reserved for Italian Industrial Design and now in its XXVII edition.
For the aesthetic design of Mia Hand, Prensilia relied on the experience and skills of Elastic Design. To date, this particular prosthesis is the strongest and fastest on the market: its maximum gripping force is in fact 70 Newtons and the complete closure of the hand takes place in 280 ms (milliseconds).
“Our goal,” he explains Francis Clement, managing director of Prensilia – is to develop a technology that can be inclusive and adaptable to people’s needs. This prestigious recognition enhances our commitment to the creation of an upper limb prosthesis that is not only capable of offering high performance, but that allows the wearer to feel at ease, thanks to the customizable design in multiple configurations”.
Prensilia was born in 2009 as a spin-off of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna from the idea and will of a group of researchers from Arts Lab – Advanced Robotics Technology&Systems Laboratory – to make the technologies developed usable for all national and international research laboratories. For years, the Tuscan company has supplied highly dexterous anthropomorphic “grippers” to various research centers and many universities, both for educational purposes and for purely cutting-edge and research purposes.
Since 2016, Prensilia has increasingly embarked on the development of upper limb prosthetic medical devices, with the aim of significantly improving the quality of life of people who have suffered an amputation. In 2016 she joined the DeTOP European project, where the first Mia Hand prototype was developed. The Compasso d’Oro is not the first recognition awarded to Mia Hand. In 2019, Prensilia’s robotic hand was awarded the Red Dot Design Award and, again in 2019, it received an honorable mention at The Plan Award.
Virtual reality for firefighter training
Virtual reality supports the training of firefighters called to intervene in emergency situations caused by earthquakes and natural disasters. The VRescue project «Study, design and creation of a highly immersive 3D virtual environment for the education and training of Fire Brigade officials for the Usar (Urban Search and Rescue) assessment intervention in places hit by an earthquake has come to an end », financed by the Pisa Foundation and created by the Institute of Mechanical Intelligence of the Sant’Anna School of Pisa with the contribution of the Fire Brigade.
As part of this project, an application of virtual environments was created for the immersive training of the Usar (Urban Search and Rescue) teams of the National Fire Brigade. The results of the project will be presented in preview this morning in Pisa, in the fire brigade barracks.