Hand and Arm Prosthesis Uses a Variety of Control Techniques

Jeremy S. Cook
a month ago3D Printing

Duplicating the functionality of the human body — or even parts of it — is an enormous task. That doesn’t mean that many haven’t tried, and while not perfect, prostheses in various forms make life better for a wide range of people. To help a person with a congenital limb deficiency in his country, Nguyễn Phương Duy has created a transhumeral (above the elbow) prosthesis that features 10 degrees of freedom (DOF). Control options — using a Raspberry Pi and several Arduinos — include computer vision (CV), brain-computer-interface (BCI), and electromyography (EMG).

The device can operate each finger independently, along with a 2DOF thumb. The wrist rotates back and forth, and can tilt forwards and backwards as well, and the hand can even make a sort of waving motion, swaying left and right.

The hand can be programmed to move to several pre-set positions, and a brain-computer interface is demonstrated for control. Furthermore, the system can use CV capabilities to focus on an item, then adjust itself appropriately for the situation — e.g. if it sees a bottle, it might adjust its grip to be able to pick it up, and can even aim the gripper in that direction. A potential EMG interface for this type of device is shown in the second video.

Though it appears to still be somewhat of a prototype, we’re excited to see how this prosthesis continue to advance. Hopefully it will help the person it was intended for manipulate objects more easily, and perhaps others in the future too!

assistive technology
Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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