This paper presents the design and assessment results of two types of miniature, high speed, low torque transmissions to be used in a partial hand, powered finger prosthesis. Transmissions enabling torque transfer across varied flexion angles of a finger joint can allow placement of a motor and a gearbox in adjacent phalanges, significantly decreasing space requirements for partial hand prostheses. Bevel gear-based and cable-based transmission designs for a variety of flexion angles are implemented and tested in comparison with a direct cascaded motor and gearbox (benchmark) configuration. The miter-gear transmission provided consistent operation at tested flexion angles, but demonstrated reduced efficiency in comparison with the benchmark configuration. Cable transmission matched efficiency of the benchmark configuration at low flexion angles but lacked mechanical durability at high loads and flexion angles. The designs presented complementary strengths and weaknesses, with the miter-gear design demonstrating better overall mechanical reliability, while the cable transmission excelled in secondary characteristics.

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