Smart Wearables Market to Experience Growth as a Research Group Identifies a Game-Changer Technology

Posted On April 28, 2022     

For prosthetic hand users, typing on a keyboard, touching buttons on remote control, or combing a child's hair has remained a challenge. Modern artificial hands are indeed mechanically capable of individual control of all five digits. However, users can only control single grip function one at a time with present myoelectric prosthetic hands.

A first-of-its-kind study has combined haptic/touch sensation feedback and electromyogram (EMG) control. This has led to the development of a novel wearable soft robotic armband. The technology is a game-changer for Smart Wearables Market as it would provide prosthetic hand users dexterity, something which they have long waited for. The study's findings could spark a paradigm shift in how limb-impaired people control the present and future prosthetic hands.

Researchers also investigated the role of visual input in this complicated multitasking paradigm in the study. This was done by systematically blocking visual and haptic signals in the experimental design. Furthermore, they investigated the potential for time savings in a simultaneous object transportation experiment vs a one-at-a-time approach. The group created a revolutionary multichannel wearable soft robotic wristband to impart simulated feelings of touch to robotic hand users in order to do these tasks.

The device includes multiple channels of haptic input enabling individuals to successfully grab and transfer two things simultaneously with the dexterous mechanical hand. Further, the tasks can be done without breaking or dropping them, even while their eyesight of both objects was impeded.

Researchers found no significant differences between the limb-absent person and the other subjects, which is important for clinical translation. Particularly in relation to the essential performance measures in the tasks. Importantly, even when vision was present, subjects evaluated haptic feedback as significantly more relevant than visual feedback. This is because there was often little to no visually discernible warning before clutched objects were shattered or dropped. Furthermore, when compared to a one-at-a-time technique typically employed in previous studies, the simultaneous control approach reduced the time required to transport and deliver both objects.

The present study is the first to show that this challenging simultaneous control job can be accomplished while integrating numerous channels of haptic feedback noninvasively. Despite the fact that none of the clinical participants had any prior experience with EMG-controlled prosthetic hands, they were able to learn to employ this multitasking functionality after only two short training sessions.

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