Michelangelo hand prosthesis

The Michelangelo Hand helps you regain extensive freedom

Benefits at a glance

Markus reading a magazine

Numerous gripping options

Thanks to the numerous functions of the Michelangelo Hand, you have seven different hand positions available to you. Whether you’re cooking, turning pages in a book or typing on a keyboard, the Michelangelo Hand helps you integrate such movements into your everyday life, leisure time and work.

Sjaak casually peels a banana

Relaxed wrist unit

The AxonWrist mechanical wrist unit can be flexed, extended and rotated inwards or outwards. In addition, the AxonWrist imitates the movement of a relaxed, natural wrist in a newly developed flexible mode. This feature is currently unique! Unnatural compensating movements can thus be avoided, encouraging a healthy body posture.

Michelangelo Hand Design

Natural design

For the product designers and developers, making the appearance and feel of the Michelangelo Hand resemble a natural hand as closely as possible posed a special challenge. The fingers are made of hard and soft materials, thus imitating the natural hand in detail. The flat oval hand adapter enhances the natural appearance – even more than the previously available round wrist units. Matching prosthesis gloves are available in six different hues.

Michelangelo Hand AxonSkin

Matching gloves

The durable prosthesis gloves, available in six different hues, are constructed in layers. Coloured fibres inside imitate the natural vein structure of the human hand. Ribs are integrated into the shell of the hand to make the movement of the wrist unit and thumb appear natural. For those who wish to show off their modern prosthesis, a translucent and a black prosthesis glove are available as well.


Seven different grip types

Few parts of the human body are as versatile and complex as our hands. Only the perfect interplay of nerves, tendons, a total of 27 bones, 39 muscles and 36 joints allows us to perform everyday tasks naturally. Recreating as many of these numerous functions as possible in a prosthesis is one of the greatest challenges for medical technology. The Michelangelo Hand with its seven different gripping possibilities restores numerous functions of the natural hand. Its gripping force is between 6 and 7 kg. You can adjust and control the force needed to hold a heavy or light object with the Michelangelo Hand.

Lateral pinch

For the lateral pinch, also known as the key grip, the thumb moves sideways to index finger. This allows you to grasp flat objects such as paper or credit cards from the side.

Lateral power grip

The thumb moves laterally towards the index finger. This allows you to grasp objects of average size, such as a mobile phone.

Finger abduction/adduction

Opening and closing the fingers allows you to hold flat, thin objects (< 3 mm) such as banknotes.

Tripod pinch

Known as the pinch grip, the thumb together with the index and middle fingers forms a three-point support so you can hold small objects like a pen securely.

Opposition power grip

The hand's large opening width allows you to securely hold objects with a larger diameter.

Open palm

A flat hand position is achieved with the open hand, so that you can carry objects like a plate or mat naturally.

Natural mode

The Michelangelo Hand looks very natural in the rest position. In flexible mode, the wrist unit yields easily to pressure. When you relax the muscles, the Michelangelo Hand also assumes a natural, relaxed hand position.

Correct prosthesis training helps with practical application

A good fitting does not end with the professional adaptation of a prosthesis. The better you know your new Michelangelo Hand, the more efficiently you can use it in everyday life. That is why Ottobock has developed practical accompanying exercises to familiarise you with the prosthetic hand, so that you can reap the full benefit of the numerous functions and gripping options of the Michelangelo Hand. Ideally an especially trained therapist assists you with the multilevel training concept. Among other things, it covers the daily handling of the prosthesis including charging the battery, care instructions, storage, and turning the prosthesis on or off. This is followed by exercises to help you learn the various gripping possibilities. In addition to training with your therapist, there is a DVD that helps you repeat and practice the exercises at home as well.

Technical information


The Michelangelo Hand is controlled on the basis of the Axon-Bus system (AXON stands for Adaptive eXchange Of Neuroplacement data). It was derived from proven, safety-related systems in the aviation and automobile industry. The advantage is that the Axon-Bus system constitutes an integrated data transmission system. The individual components are optimized to communicate perfectly and work with each other. The benefit for the user is that there is no delay in the speed and functionality of the Michelangelo Hand. The Axon-Bus system also improves the safety and reliability of the prosthesis.

Care instructions

Ottobock AxonSkin Natural gloves:

Cleaning the glove with water and soap is recommended for daily care. A special outer layer reduces the gloves' susceptibility to soiling and simplifies cleaning. If water and soap are insufficient, a special cleaner (640F12) with a pump sprayer (640F13) can be used Please also note the specific care instructions of the special cleaner.


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Michelangelo Hand

Michelangelo Hand brochure for end users


  • How do I get a Michelangelo Hand?

    There are specialised and certified medical supply companies across the country that fit users with the Michelangelo Hand. Your orthopaedic technician will advise you and answer all your questions about a possible fitting with the Michelangelo Hand.

  • I have an upper arm amputation. Can I be fitted with the Michelangelo Hand?

    For amputations above the elbow joint, Ottobock has developed the AxonArm Ergo and AxonArm Hybrid elbow components which also work with the Michelangelo Hand. Your orthopaedic technician will advise you in detail and answer all your questions about a possible fitting.

  • How do I control the Michelangelo Hand?

    The Michelangelo Hand is known as a myoelectrically controlled prosthesis, which means you control it with your own muscle signals. Here is how it works: Myoelectric is the technical term that refers to voltage generated by muscle activity, which can be measured on the skin surface. An electrode on the skin surface of your residual limb transmits the muscle signals to the Michelangelo Hand in the form of electric voltage. Electric motors and microprocessors then convert these signals into specific movements.

  • What movements are possible with the Michelangelo Hand?

    The Michelangelo Hand features seven different gripping possibilities. This allows you to grasp and hold objects purposefully, and to lift heavy as well as light items.

  • Is it difficult to learn how to use the Michelangelo Hand?

    The technology is highly intuitive and users can easily learn how to use the Michelangelo Hand. Regular training is important however, especially at first. A special training concept has been developed to provide the required assistance, and training should ideally be performed together with a therapist.

  • Can I shower with the Michelangelo Hand?

    No, you cannot shower or bathe with the Michelangelo Hand.

    There are no standard prosthesis components for showering and swimming; individual adaptations are prepared by your orthopaedic technician.

  • Can I wash my hands with a Michelangelo Hand?

    Yes, this is possible provided that the prosthesis glove is intact and the cuff is long enough that no water can get into the prosthesis from the end.

  • Can I use a touch screen with the hand prosthesis?

    While this is not yet possible at this time, the related research and development work is ongoing.

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