Currently, the number of amputees in the United States is estimated at 1.7 million people , and of those 1.7 million people, only approximately 300,000 are upper limb amputees . However, the number of amputees is growing at a rate of more than 18,000 people per year . Although the body powered and myoelectric prosthetics have been invented to provide a cosmetic solution and functionally allow the user to employ leverage or grasp an object, there are no marketed products which provide tactile feedback. Often amputees will not use their current prosthetics due to their unnatural feel. In terms of functional use of the prosthetics, reports show as low as 29% of amputees with prosthetics make use of the grasp feature . Due to the general lack of user satisfaction, it is necessary to improve the prosthetic market by incorporating sensory feedback into upper limb prosthetics so that the user feels like they are using their own arm. With the incorporation of sensory-motor coordination, amputees’ reliance on visual information to be aware of the artificial hand and arm will be decreased, thereby, decreasing their cognitive load . Additionally, due to the increased feedback from the arm regarding the environment, the amputee will be able to use their artificial limb more effectively and with more of native feel.
- Bioengineering Division
Tactile Surface Detector for a Prosthetic Hand
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Lim, KY, Cook, E, Kirkpatrick, SP, & Palettas, N. "Tactile Surface Detector for a Prosthetic Hand." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 Summer Bioengineering Conference. ASME 2011 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Parts A and B. Farmington, Pennsylvania, USA. June 22–25, 2011. pp. 623-624. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2011-53544
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