Slade named Goldwater Scholar

Patrick Slade recently won the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. The goal of this scholarship is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. The Scholarship--the most prestigious undergraduate award given in the sciences--is awarded to about 300 college sophomores and juniors nationwide. A maximum of $7500 per academic year is granted. The scholarship is awarded based on merit, and the actual amount given is based on financial need. Congratulations Patrick!

Akhtar Wins NIH NRSA Fellowship among other Awards


Aadeel Akhtar recently was awarded a 5-year NIH F30 MD/PhD NRSA Fellowship for his proposal entitled "Mechanisms for enabling closed-loop upper limb sensorimotor prosthetic control." He was also awarded the Susan La Flesche Picotte, MD Health Equity Pioneer Award from the University of Illinois College of Medicine Urban Health Program for his work on highly-advanced low-cost prosthetic hands for the entire world. This award recognizes the achievements of outstanding individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the health of vulnerable populations. Aadeel was also named one of the university's Chancellor's Public Engagement Fellows. Congratulations Aadeel!

Tact in Action

Patrick Slade shows how he can put together one of Tact's fingers in under 30 minutes! Also, Edward Wu demonstrates that we were able to perform EMG pattern recognition with this hand to pick up some objects with different grasps. If you want to build your own, files for the printed parts can be found here

This project presents the Tact hand-an anthropomorphic, open-source, myoelectric prosthetic hand that was designed for use by people with transradial amputations in developing countries. This hand matches or exceeds the performance of other state-of-the-art myoelectric prosthetic hands, but costs two orders of magnitude less ($250) and is easy to manufacture with a 3D printer and off-the-shelf parts.

Prosthetic Hand in the News

Check out our work with upper limb prostheses as featured on WAND-TV (Central Illinois NBC affiliate), in the College of Engineering news, and the University of Illinois Facebook page! Don't forget to Like and Share.

UPDATE (11/7/14): We were featured on WCIA (Central Illinois CBS affiliate)!

UPDATE (11/16/14): Some more features! We'll probably just keep adding to this list as we find them.

Worldwide:,, Chinatopix, Overclockers Club,, KTAL, Gizmag, Pune Mirror/Mumbai Mirror, ECN, WWLP, 3D Printing Magazine, KPLC, DNews

Local: Daily Illini, Beckman Institute, Aerospace Engineering, College of Medicine (Video), Lincoln Report


Announcing Tact, an Open-Source, 3D-Printed Hand


Patrick Slade, an undergrad in our lab, has been working hard developing Tact, a 3D-printed hand, which we plan to use as one of our research platforms and for field testing with patients in Ecuador.  Unlike many other low cost, 3D-printed hands, instead of being tendon driven, this hand uses a four-bar linkage, which simplifies assembly. We have found it easier to tighten screws than to thread strings and cables through narrow channels.

There's still some work to be done to improve the hand, but we are happy to open-source our current iteration of Tact. The files can be found here.