A device, approximately 1 mm in fist diameter, has been developed by using monolithic micromachining technology to mimic the human hand in microscale. The microhand consists of four microfingers and each of the four microfingers has multiple phalanges made of silicon and active joints made of polymer balloons. Activating the microfingers by inflating and deflating the balloon joints allows the microhand to perform the motions of flexion and extension. This device, driven pneumatically, operates both in air and aqueous environments and demonstrates grasping and detaching of tiny biological objects from a capelin egg to a nerve bundle, suggesting promising applications in biology and medicine.
Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit
Department, Program, or Center
Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)
Lu, Yen-Wen; An, Zhiyong; and Kim, Chang-Jin, "A Microhand: Modeling, manufacturing, and demonstration" (2005). Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus