Prosthetic Arm Market to Develop as Researchers Create a Prosthetic Hand that can Provide Users with Great Dexterity
Posted On April 16, 2022
Prosthetic hand users have struggled to type on a keyboard, press buttons on a remote control, or braid a child's hair. Modern artificial hands are mechanically capable of individual control of all five digits. However, users can only control one grip function at a time with current myoelectric prosthetic hands.
Haptic/touch sensation feedback and EMG (Electromyogram) control were coupled in groundbreaking work. The study's findings could lead to a paradigm shift in how limb-impaired persons handle robotic hands now and in the future. The novel wearable soft robotic armband could be a game-changer for the Prosthetic Arm Market as it could help users looking for long-awaited dexterity improvements.
The study's objective revolved around the question of whether humans could accurately regulate the grip pressures delivered to two separate items gripped simultaneously using a dexterous robotic hand. Subjects successfully held and transferred two things simultaneously with the dexterous mechanical hand without breaking or dropping them. It was so even while their eyesight of both objects was occluded, thanks to several channels of haptic input.
By rigorously restricting visual and tactile feedback in the experimental design, the team investigated the role of visual feedback in this complicated multitasking model. They also looked at how much time could be saved in a simultaneous object transportation experiment vs a one-at-a-time approach. They created a unique multichannel wearable soft robotic armband to convey simulated touch sensations to fulfill these tasks.
The present research is the first to show that this complicated simultaneous control task may be accomplished without invasively combining numerous channels of haptic feedback. Nobody in the study had any prior experience with EMG-controlled mechanical hands. They did, however, learn to use this multitasking capacity after only two brief training sessions.
Each of the three BioTacs on the Shadow Hand fingertips is proportionally represented by one of the three air chambers on the wristband. The armband additionally has three vibrotactile actuators that vibrate to inform the subject if the object in the grasp is broken.
Enabling refined dexterous control is a complex problem to solve, as it requires the interpretation of human grasp control intentions and complementary haptic feedback of tactile sensations. It is currently a significant roadblock in preventing upper limb-absent people from multitasking or using the full dexterity of their hands and fingers. In this innovative study, the researchers address the loss of tactile sensations.