Restoring the function of a missing hand is still a grand challenge for bioengineers. We witnessed significant recent advances in the development of myoelectric hand prostheses and their controllers. Conversely, the wrist joint is generally overlooked in prosthetics, despite playing a fundamental role in orienting the hand in space. Indeed, it may account for several degrees of freedom of the hand in reducing compensatory movements. We acknowledge that an active, three-degree-of-freedom prosthetic wrist is not a viable option for a self-contained prosthesis, therefore we merged in one design two opposed passive behaviors. The proposed wrist can automatically transition between a compliant mode, which exhibits relatively low stiffness allowing for passive motions around two rotational axes (wrist flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation), and a stiff mode, which grants stability during manipulation. To switch mode, no additional control input - hence cognitive burden - from the user is needed: it occurs synchronously with the prosthetic hand opening and closing motion, such that the wrist is compliant during reaching and stiff during manipulation. Our device proved reliable on the test bench and useful in a pilot test with an amputee volunteer, motivating further developments and more extensive testing to prove its effectiveness.

A 2-Degree-of-Freedom Quasi-Passive Prosthetic Wrist with Two Levels of Compliance

Cappello L.
;
D Accolti D.;Gherardini M.;Controzzi M.;Cipriani C.
2022

Abstract

Restoring the function of a missing hand is still a grand challenge for bioengineers. We witnessed significant recent advances in the development of myoelectric hand prostheses and their controllers. Conversely, the wrist joint is generally overlooked in prosthetics, despite playing a fundamental role in orienting the hand in space. Indeed, it may account for several degrees of freedom of the hand in reducing compensatory movements. We acknowledge that an active, three-degree-of-freedom prosthetic wrist is not a viable option for a self-contained prosthesis, therefore we merged in one design two opposed passive behaviors. The proposed wrist can automatically transition between a compliant mode, which exhibits relatively low stiffness allowing for passive motions around two rotational axes (wrist flexion/extension and radial/ulnar deviation), and a stiff mode, which grants stability during manipulation. To switch mode, no additional control input - hence cognitive burden - from the user is needed: it occurs synchronously with the prosthetic hand opening and closing motion, such that the wrist is compliant during reaching and stiff during manipulation. Our device proved reliable on the test bench and useful in a pilot test with an amputee volunteer, motivating further developments and more extensive testing to prove its effectiveness.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/550453
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