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Case-study of a user-driven prosthetic arm design: bionic hand versus customized body-powered technology in a highly demanding work environment [article out]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Case-study of a user-driven prosthetic arm design: bionic hand versus customized body-powered technology in a highly demanding work environment [article out]; published January 4, 2018, 14:29; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8066.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Case-study of a user-driven prosthetic arm design: bionic hand versus customized body-powered technology in a highly demanding work environment [article out]}}, month = {January},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8066}}


The prior presentation [poster at Cybathlon symposium 2016], which was more pragmatically worded (with me thinking people would know anyway), this was now written up as article and published. During that process, the reviewers clearly made great points of all kinds of aspects I never knew were not sky clear to everyone.

So maybe, writing a ~ 30 page case study with > 210 references does clarify stuff, at least potentially and for those that actually read it. But possibly, it still requires attention to even just read it.

Knowledge does not come easy, Highlander! (Nakano, in: Highlander III The Final Dimension)

If you are more interested in visionary posts, read about the gadget features of the prosthetic arm in Kingsmen: The Golden Circle [link].

Publication [link]

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Promembro - Schweizer Lobbyisten wollen Hightech-Prothesen "legalisieren"

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Promembro - Schweizer Lobbyisten wollen Hightech-Prothesen "legalisieren"; published December 16, 2018, 16:24; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9017.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Promembro - Schweizer Lobbyisten wollen Hightech-Prothesen "legalisieren"}}, month = {December},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9017}}


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Auf ihrer Webseite behaupten Personen von Promembro, "Wir sind die Lobby der Prothesenträger/innen und schaffen ein Schweizer Netz, das auf den Schutz der Interessen der gesamten Prothesenträger/innen spezialisiert ist: Jugendliche und Ältere, Sportler und Nichtsportler, Aktive und Rentner, Kranke und Gesunde. Wir vertreten die Anliegen unserer Mitglieder sowohl bei der Bevölkerung als auch in Politik und der Verwaltung. Die Institutionen wie Procap oder Pro Infirmis sind zu gross, um sich der kleine Zahl der Prothesenträger genügend zu widmen." - Grundsaetzlich sind sie an einer Motion interessiert [link][link], an der Balthasar Glaettli und Roger Golay beteiligt sind.

Damit moegen diese Individuen glauben, wer immer sie seien - aber meine Interessen vertreten sie mit Sicherheit nicht. Sie sind niemals "die" Lobby. Da sie behaupten, sie schaffen "ein Netz", das die Interessen der "gesamten" Prothesentraeger vertreten, ist die Behauptung (oben) bereits bewiesenermassen falsch. Sie vertreten mit Sicherheit meine Interessen, insbesondere diejenigen, die ich relevant finde, nicht. Dazu fehlt es erwiesenermassen an Verstaendnis, und vor allem Respekt. Vielmehr verwenden sie die laengst abgeschmackte Piraten-Metapher, um werbewirksam auf sich aufmerksam zu machen.
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Disability and the public - prosthetic arms and more: do we appear "competent"? (review)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Disability and the public - prosthetic arms and more: do we appear "competent"? (review); published December 7, 2018, 15:50; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8812.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Disability and the public - prosthetic arms and more: do we appear "competent"? (review)}}, month = {December},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8812}}


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The current view of us, what the general public thinks of us, seems to be a major aspect. Of "us", yes.

The research question for this armchair analyst thus will be: are we - arm amputees in specific, and, as people with a visible physical handicap more generally, more broadly as disabled people generally, seen as competent people?

Generally, the answer seems to be a clear "NO" right from the outset.

This should not come as a shock. There are good reasons to believe that, great reasons to make that plausible, perfect reasons to justify that statement. With that, there may be exceptions to that -  people that see through society's fairytales of disability, horror and fears, but they are usually the exception.

As I had figured out quite early into my enquiries into that issue, that this aspect is of absolutely no further practical concern not because it is not disconcerting - but because I cannot change it. And that is a rapid, lean and cynical logical consequence, that I stopped caring about what other people think of me based on, say, visual impression of my prosthetic arm. I may thus safely focus on function and comfort, sustainability and cost, without worrying too much about whether other people treat me as more or less competent based on my looks. Not because it would not be cool to take influence but because it is of no matter as to the target dimension: the tendendy to disregard any mental capacity of people with physical handicap appears to be implemented in many people's thinking outside of any actual experiences. And regardless of what type of prosthesis I wear.

If anything, I might optimize my appearance by simply trying to look reasonably neat.

But to bend over backwards for what really we have to concede are actually strange people? If anything, can we hack their brains?

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Real work - Real Men Don't Eat Quiche - Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL [reference to popular culture]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Real work - Real Men Don't Eat Quiche - Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL [reference to popular culture]; published December 6, 2018, 08:37; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8850.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Real work - Real Men Don't Eat Quiche - Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL [reference to popular culture]}}, month = {December},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8850}}


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When I mention real work as opposed to work one does in the role of a pansy boy, I certainly mean this both seriously and tongue in cheek.

Only if you spend your days with real work will you ever understand. You will be dripping wet from sweating. Your clothes will be so entirely smelly from external causes. Your materials will be in dire need for cleaning ever so comprehensively. You have worked for many hours. And you will go back to do it all over again. A prosthetic arm that is built to last 3 years dies within 5 seconds, 15 minutes, or 2 months - using stock commercial parts, it burns and dies like paper consumed by a slow fire, component by component.

Welcome to the world of real work.

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List of possible prosthetic arm failure points [prosthetic reliability]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - List of possible prosthetic arm failure points [prosthetic reliability]; published October 31, 2018, 19:55; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8792.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - List of possible prosthetic arm failure points [prosthetic reliability]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8792}}


Here is a list of my experience in prosthetic part degradation and failure intervals.

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Sensory robot hand feedback: not so necessary for amputees but definitely necessary for tele-operators [why sensory feedback is military research and not rehabilitation research]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Sensory robot hand feedback: not so necessary for amputees but definitely necessary for tele-operators [why sensory feedback is military research and not rehabilitation research]; published October 28, 2018, 19:21; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8751.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Sensory robot hand feedback: not so necessary for amputees but definitely necessary for tele-operators [why sensory feedback is military research and not rehabilitation research]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8751}}


Why is so much effort going into sensory feedback type military research and not rehabilitation research?

  • Myoelectric control is inherently and unfixably unreliable anyway in daily use by amputees - but possibly not so much of an issue when used by an anatomically intact individual in an army robot control room.
  • Myoelectric grippers are caught between sufficiently light (and far too weak) and sufficiently strong (but too heavy) without way out, from view of a prosthetic arm wearing community.
  • They are a niche product even in terms of actually sustainable prosthetic fitting, from view of applied usage.

Logically, all the research effort that significantly helps military applications, but does not significantly help a real prosthetic arm, clearly marches into one direction only: army development, military research.

And because no one looks and no one cares, research money for rehabilitation of amputees can easily be siphoned off for military applications.

The background for asking these questions is that there must be very distinct reasons why in 2018, a body powered hook is still the only prosthetic type that can be reliably used in strenuous physical applications.

And now, we are starting to get interested in the sociological reasons why that is.

A recently discovered surprisingly high degree of cynicism towards disabled people and particularly those with an amputation by those that claim to technically improve rehabilitation very clearly points towards a non-rehabilitative sociological setting, whereas cynicism in army circles is to be expected [1].

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[1] L. Braithwaite and S. R. Sonnad, "Cynicism amongst military police personnel in Western Europe," Justice Quarterly, vol. 1, iss. 3, pp. 413-436, 1984.
[Bibtex]
@article{braithwaite1984cynicism,
  title={Cynicism amongst military police personnel in Western Europe},
  author={Braithwaite, Lloyd and Sonnad, Subhash R},
  journal={Justice Quarterly},
  volume={1},
  number={3},
  pages={413--436},
  year={1984},
  publisher={Taylor \& Francis}
}

Open Bionics Hero Arm [considerations from another angle]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Open Bionics Hero Arm [considerations from another angle]; published October 27, 2018, 13:05; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8726.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Open Bionics Hero Arm [considerations from another angle]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8726}}


I did get a request to provide an extensive opinion about the Open Bionics Hero Arm.

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How to apply wood screws in series - demonstration, difficulties [bench work]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to apply wood screws in series - demonstration, difficulties [bench work]; published October 26, 2018, 14:52; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8717.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to apply wood screws in series - demonstration, difficulties [bench work]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8717}}


I happily cut and mounted two wooden boards into a pre-existing shelf frame. For that, a series of wood screws were put into place.

If you are interested in mount, assembly, and screws, read these earlier posts, too:

Dismantling, loading, transporting, unloading and reassembling shelf [bimanual, activity] {illustration, a peek into the life of a person with a handicap}

 

Drill a screw [1-handed way]

The ultimate bimanual task - the IKEA Pax wardrobe system with gliding doors [tricks,tips and yeehaw]

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How to sharpen a pencil fast [technical advice]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to sharpen a pencil fast [technical advice]; published October 26, 2018, 14:34; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8713.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to sharpen a pencil fast [technical advice]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8713}}


The modern Cyborg does not so much excel in having a prosthetic arm that does everything - that would be similar to promoting rainbow colored unicorns: these do not exist.

The modern Cyborg works with modern tools for fast and good results. He thus sharpens pens reliabily and well.

Here is how.

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BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL: Pitch black cynicism in the Cybathlon 2020: "the role of a disabled person" [not funny]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL: Pitch black cynicism in the Cybathlon 2020: "the role of a disabled person" [not funny]; published October 25, 2018, 23:02; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8680.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL: Pitch black cynicism in the Cybathlon 2020: "the role of a disabled person" [not funny]}}, month = {October},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8680}}


"With that, visitors of the Cybathlon Experience (TM) can test the role of a disabled person" (können in die Rolle einer behinderten Person schlüpfen) (Oral presentation: "CYBATHLON – bewegt Mensch und Technik", 5.15pm–6.00pm, Dr. Roland Sigrist, Cybathlon, ETH Zurich, Raum E 1.2) -- I was there, one among the 8 people that made the audience of this "sold out" Cybathlon talk; amputees are there for "entertainment" (clearly one of the requirements written on a slide in the presentation) (ist es das, was wir als behinderte Personen spielen? eine Rolle, ja?).

After defining a remarkably strange prosthetic arm race, the makers of the Cybathlon 2020 now start to openly bathe us in their pitch-black cynicism.

Why? Pressing question.

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The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]; published September 22, 2018, 10:43; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7931.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Bad Batch (2017) - review of movie with main character as amputee [bleak authenticity via CGI]}}, month = {September},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7931}}


There is real life with amputation. Then, there is the crazy domain populated by villains and Captain Hooks, legends whose stereotypical simplification make one puke of repetitive boredom - even without a drop of empathy.

And then, there are visual tales.

One recent visual tale was Mad Max Fury Road, where Furiosa - a below elbow amputee - has her handicap become a focus if not the no-verbalized center of visual story telling. And while some internet aficionados try to downplay the fact that Furiosa ultimately is dumped by Mad Max simply because of her hosed arm, the visual imagery leaves little negotiation there, if one looks, if one regards, if one takes in visually, if one embarks on that journey that a visual tale wants to take you on. One can even quantify the disabled body part size in the visuals of the movie in relation to the rest. Ah, yes, I review such movies since a while.

And here?

Here we get a piece of great pop culture, totally out there, that also plays in a dystopian world or maybe future. And yet, it resonates entirely differently than just dystopian or otherwise. It could go down as a checklist, bleak and dry.

Spoiler alert.

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Embodiment of a prosthetic arm [reflections, thoughts, considerations]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Embodiment of a prosthetic arm [reflections, thoughts, considerations]; published September 16, 2018, 15:42; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8513.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Embodiment of a prosthetic arm [reflections, thoughts, considerations]}}, month = {September},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8513}}


So, apparently I had been "identified" as a "super prosthesis user" by a group of researchers.

So is that what I am: a "user"?

Tsk.

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Remote controlled turn signal for bicycle [upgrade]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Remote controlled turn signal for bicycle [upgrade]; published August 29, 2018, 19:45; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8470.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Remote controlled turn signal for bicycle [upgrade]}}, month = {August},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8470}}


With one armed biking, giving proper bike turn signals is usually not possible.

The trick therefore consists in a technical solution to indicate turns.

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Understanding and informing design issues of a prosthetic arm for below elbow amputation by way of "taxonomy" [literature review, reality check]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Understanding and informing design issues of a prosthetic arm for below elbow amputation by way of "taxonomy" [literature review, reality check]; published July 26, 2018, 21:18; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7651.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1545049324, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Understanding and informing design issues of a prosthetic arm for below elbow amputation by way of "taxonomy" [literature review, reality check]}}, month = {July},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7651}}


The academic and industrial attempts to approach prosthetic arms so far have been met with less success than the providers must have hoped for. Far less, in fact so little that we wonder what is going on.

Possibly, design issues are the key to this as however vaguely put, some analytic approach needs to inform better design - but how to really inform better design from issues based on analysis? What is a suitable analysis? If we cannot see any better designs anywhere in practice, real life, then what is the analysis worth? Can we analyze analyses to get a better understanding of what might be going on there?

We might best start with what we know to be true.

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