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Category: ANPPN Activites of No Particular Prosthetic Need

Myoelectric prosthetic arms do not "really" function - so whom to sell them to? [cynical economic considerations]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Myoelectric prosthetic arms do not "really" function - so whom to sell them to? [cynical economic considerations]; published February 2, 2019, 15:11; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9304.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Myoelectric prosthetic arms do not "really" function - so whom to sell them to? [cynical economic considerations]}}, month = {February},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9304}}


Myoelectric prosthetic arms do not "really" work, we all know that, and it has been clear for decades.These factual aspects are difficult to make that problem go away like, poof. With that the more interesting question is: whom do we sell these to?

While selling to people that are gullible [link] seems to have a lot going for it, it is risky. A more sustained approach may base on taking actual risk factors for myoelectric failure into account:

  • Sweat
  • Weight
  • General error rate

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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_1574228233, 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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Cracking an egg single-handedly [ANPPN - activities of no particular prosthetic need]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Cracking an egg single-handedly [ANPPN - activities of no particular prosthetic need]; published December 13, 2017, 13:18; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7890.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Cracking an egg single-handedly [ANPPN - activities of no particular prosthetic need]}}, month = {December},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7890}}


With the current on-going search for "tricks" or "solutions" to "solve" manual problems of ADL (activities of daily living), one very large unexamined domain is how to live life without a prosthetic arm on.

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Fixing infinity on Russian Wide Lens Industar 69 M39 [EC microworks]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Fixing infinity on Russian Wide Lens Industar 69 M39 [EC microworks]; published December 2, 2016, 10:20; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6936.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Fixing infinity on Russian Wide Lens Industar 69 M39 [EC microworks]}}, month = {December},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6936}}


How to fix infinity on Russian Wide Lens Industar 69 M, per se, is not a secret.

But getting a right below elbow amputee do it is not an everyday experience. Being that person oneself, one cannot but go at it.

People will tell you left and right that you need their "new bionic hand" to do all kinds of things and they parade their "bionic" hands "holding a newspaper" because "it is the little things that count".

Who knows : )

Quite possibly, after a decade or so, looking back, you still are filled with awe just how well you held that newspaper back in the days. Or, how you posed with that hand back in the days, while asking someone else to change that bike tire for you. I do not want to exclude that possibility as remote as it seems.

But from where I am standing, it's still the big things that count. And the thing is that very small things are not what is meant with "the little things". Very small things can be so difficult to handle that it is a big achievement, despite the size proverb pun.

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Is it wise to widen the clientele for prosthetic arms, and is it wise to get more crappy "bionic" arms publicly funded?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Is it wise to widen the clientele for prosthetic arms, and is it wise to get more crappy "bionic" arms publicly funded?; published October 7, 2016, 17:31; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6442.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Is it wise to widen the clientele for prosthetic arms, and is it wise to get more crappy "bionic" arms publicly funded?}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6442}}


It is an open debate currently, whether it is wise:

  1. to widen the clientele for prosthetic arms or to start mobilizing non-users or dropped out users of prosthetic arms, and
  2. to get more crappy "bionic" arms funded publicly.

The answer is, to both, .....

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#userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - #userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]; published October 2, 2016, 13:05; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6342.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - #userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6342}}


PDF of poster presentation @ Cybathlon Symposium Oct 06 2016 @ Kloten.

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Bad Hand Day IV (iLimb, as usual)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bad Hand Day IV (iLimb, as usual); published September 6, 2016, 09:18; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6317.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bad Hand Day IV (iLimb, as usual)}}, month = {September},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6317}}


I tried to wear my iLimb on Sunday, for cleaning out travel equipment and so on.

But the hand never stopped closing. I opened it, it closed by itself. Always.

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How to peel and eat an orange [ADL, ANPPN Activities of No Particular Prosthetic Need] #orangegate #prepeeled #cutupintelligently

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to peel and eat an orange [ADL, ANPPN Activities of No Particular Prosthetic Need] #orangegate #prepeeled #cutupintelligently; published March 8, 2016, 19:32; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5763.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to peel and eat an orange [ADL, ANPPN Activities of No Particular Prosthetic Need] #orangegate #prepeeled #cutupintelligently}}, month = {March},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5763}}


I do sympathize with reactions such as this (link): apparently, some Twitter woman started #orangegate by stating in her original post "If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn't need to waste so much plastic on them" which subsequently had disabled bloggers to complain that they needed pre-peeled fruit for some reason. The reason to not sell prepeeled fruit boils down to environmental issues. - To this, there are a few things to say from my hand(s) on experience:

  1. fresh fruit rot a lot faster than preserved fruit (as in: dried, boiled, etc.), so really anyone after environmentally conscious will eat preserved sausage, pickled cucumbers and dried apples; everyone that buys fresh stuff particularly out of season has totally lost it regarding that line of argument; so this is Switzerland and it is winter - that means, taters and cheese;
  2. fresh food generally causes one to shop far more frequently, it causes refrigeration, it causes frequent wholesale transports, so that should be all of y'all's concern really;
  3. as person with carrying and lifting restriction, I shop frequently and little amounts already, in context of my disability, so if anyone has an excuse to go shopping more than once every 4 weeks it is the people that have difficulty lifting and carrying, transporting and shifting too much wares at once; so fresh oranges are specifically for the disabled, everyone else please consider the pickled sausages or the salt sticks;
  4. and besides all that, there are many tricks about how to cut up fruit intelligently, just as there are really good tricks on how to, say, put on a duvet cover intelligently; but is "clever" used in that context anywhere?

Now, here is how peeling is done easily and cleverly with an orange.

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Vacuuming with iLimb Ultra Revolution [ADL]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Vacuuming with iLimb Ultra Revolution [ADL]; published February 29, 2016, 18:29; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5727.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Vacuuming with iLimb Ultra Revolution [ADL]}}, month = {February},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5727}}


Allegedly, one can actually use the iLimb for vacuum cleaning floors. I set out to try that.

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

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The ultimate bimanual task - the IKEA Pax wardrobe system with gliding doors [tricks,tips and yeehaw]; published June 16, 2014, 21:54; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2429.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The ultimate bimanual task - the IKEA Pax wardrobe system with gliding doors [tricks,tips and yeehaw]}}, month = {June},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2429}}


The two of us spent about two days purchasing, unloading, assembling and mounting an IKEA Pax wardrobe with gliding doors, containing two 100 x 58 x 230 and four 50 x 58 x 230 units and several inserts.

In terms of off-shelf weight (two packets of 55kg, four packets of 45 kg, a few 18 kg packets and a considerable number of smaller packets that also were not particularly light weight) and bi-manual challenge, I would call this a top class of tasks for an arm amputee.

The product is recognized as one of the hardest to assemble IKEA pieces (for non-handicapped people) - so obviously, an IKEA Pax system with sliding doors is certainly a must have item.

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

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Dismantling, loading, transporting, unloading and reassembling shelf [bimanual, activity] {illustration, a peek into the life of a person with a handicap}; published June 11, 2014, 18:30; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3216.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Dismantling, loading, transporting, unloading and reassembling shelf [bimanual, activity] {illustration, a peek into the life of a person with a handicap}}}, month = {June},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3216}}


This is a post to give you news about things in the life of a person with a handicap (i.e., me). If you are researcher or with a modern prosthetic component company, you would never have thought that (in all likelihood) we, your clients, actually haul ass. But then, if one is to inspect your prosthetic component catalogs or research programs, then one will come also to the conclusion that you primarily lean towards Thorsten Veblen.

And so I will allow you to peek behind the curtain of well hidden activities!

This, her, is about a shelf. A cheap Ikea shelf, with many parts and screws, boards and little metal pieces to hold it all together.

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Photography as right below elbow amputee [technical tips]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Photography as right below elbow amputee [technical tips]; published May 30, 2014, 20:51; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1075.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Photography as right below elbow amputee [technical tips]}}, month = {May},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=1075}}


I was surprised to see that (according to a recent news article [link]) an Otto Bock Michelangelo hand was required to reclaim one's role as photographer:

"This Michelangelo is quantum leaps ahead of anything I have ever been able to do before," Wigington said.

The hope is, with training, Wigington can reclaim his position as the family photographer.

(quoted from http://www.wthr.com/story/20111441/indianapolis-minister-first-to-get-revolutionary-prosthetic on Dec 13th 2012). 

It appears that in over some 20 years of being a right below elbow amputee, Dave Wigington has not been able to figure out how to use a camera well, swift, fast and proficiently.

It appears that in over some 20 years, one now requires a particular "bionic" hand to be a family photographer.

This is extraordinary.

See, it took me exactly a day or two after the amputation to figure out that my camera still worked the exact same way. That was before "bionic" prostheses came along.

So there is a big difference between my own experience and between Dave Wigington's experience.

Seeing that there are obvious differences in what people think they can or can not do, I tried to see where the problem might be.

From there, I will illustrate some ways of taking photos singlehandedly, with the left hand, and / or with my prosthetic arm. If Dave has problems, other people may find this instructive. Who knows.  Read More

Ripping through the SHAP Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure [DAFUQ - executive summary: SHAP probably useless for prostheses]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Ripping through the SHAP Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure [DAFUQ - executive summary: SHAP probably useless for prostheses]; published May 30, 2014, 19:55; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3043.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574228233, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Ripping through the SHAP Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure [DAFUQ - executive summary: SHAP probably useless for prostheses]}}, month = {May},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=3043}}


The SHAP Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure - as anyone might know - is an ill devised test for the purpose of prosthetic hand testing inasmuch as real prostheses used for actual jobs and tasks are concerned [link].

As we shall see right from the outset, a clear understanding of the problem at hand (what constitutes a useful test for bi manual activities?) is crucial. And I should know because of activities that leave any "extreme load" prosthesis far behind:

  • IKEA Pax system (total of over 540 kg materials installed in 2 days) [link] (measurable activity with standard object and defined goal)
  • Trimming hedges in direct sun and summer heat at over 37 degrees C [link] (clear task definition, precisely definable tools and physical environment)
  • Biking up the Stelvio Pass (highest paved alpine passroad, over 2700 meters above sea level) [link] (very standardized task, suitable for competitive bike races as well)
  • ah, search this site yourself, will you; there is a sitemap [link] or at least read through all the way to the bottom here

The Cybathlon 2016 [link]  currently is aimed towards using the SHAP with the goal to push the development of "bionic" lookalike prostheses, that is, to push development not of actually functional prostheses per se, but to promote the overpriced gadget track that so many manufacturers have fallen for recently. A more detailed review can be found here (in German) and here.

Initially, they wrote: "B. SHAP Course ADL -- This course is based on the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP), which incorporates different object shapes and sizes that require the use of different grips (spherical, tripod, power, lateral, tip, extension)" [link].

They amended this in the meantime, but that does not change the fact that the test goal for prosthetic arms is elsewhere altogether.

Thus, we read the very revealing ANSI note (link):

New York, May 16, 2014 - In most athletic competitions, using technology to give yourself a competitive edge over other athletes could get you disqualified. That’s not the case for participants in the Cybathlon, an international athletic event scheduled to be held in Switzerland in October 2016. The event – which will feature athletes with disabilities who make use of prosthetics, exoskeletons, and other assistive devices – will award medals to the winning athletes, known as “pilots,” and to the companies that developed the technologies they used. In the run-up to this unprecedented competition, standards can provide manufacturers and others with useful guidance regarding the safety and effectiveness of the devices used by the event’s athletes. The Cybathlon will feature six different events involving a wide range of technologies and athletic disciplines, including a foot race featuring pilots with leg prostheses. An International Standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) can provide prosthetics manufacturers and others with important guidance. ISO 10328:2006, Prosthetics - Structural testing of lower-limb prostheses - Requirements and test methods, includes strength tests for lower-limb prostheses, including above-knee and below-knee devices. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 168, Prosthetics and orthotics; ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator, serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 168. The Cybathlon’s planned bicycle race will feature athletes with spinal cord injuries using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to pilot their vehicles around the race track. ASTM F2711-08(2012), Standard Test Methods for Bicycle Frames, could provide important support for the manufacturers of the FES bicycles needed for the event. The standard, developed by ASTM International, establishes procedures for testing the structural performance properties of bicycle frames. Another planned event will require participants to maneuver powered wheelchairs backwards and forwards through an obstacle course. The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, has developed an American National Standard that provides important guidance related to the seats used in wheelchairs. ANSI/RESNA WC-3:2013, RESNA American National Standard for Wheelchairs - Volume 3: Wheelchair Seating, is focused on postural support and tissue integrity management assistance for wheelchair users. Perhaps the most unusual event planned for the Cybathlon is the brain-computer interface race, where paralyzed pilots will control vehicles in a computer game with their mind. One promising method of mind-to-computer communication uses electroencephalographs to record electrical brain activity, providing a basis for mind-driven control of computers and other machines. IEC 60601-2-26 Ed. 3.0 b:2012, Medical electrical equipment - Part 2-26: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of electroencephalographs, provides safety and performance requirements for electroencephalographs in the clinical environment. This standard was developed by International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) TC 62, Electrical equipment in medical practice, Subcommittee (SC) 62D, Electromedical equipment. The U.S. plays a strong leadership role in the work of TC 62, with Dr. Rodolfo Godinez of the United States serving as chair. ANSI member the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) serves as the United States National Committee (USNC)-approved TAG Administrator for IEC TC 62. The U.S. also holds the secretariat duties for SC 62D, which the USNC has delegated to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer; AAMI also serves as the USNC-approved U.S. TAG Administrator to SC 62D. This exciting event promises to give athletes with disabilities an important new opportunity to showcase their skills while also encouraging the creation and refinement of technologies beneficial to many other persons with disabilities. And when developing the devices that will assist Cybathlon pilots in their athletic feats, participating companies will have an array of helpful standards to draw from. To learn more about the Cybathlon, visit its official site.

Interestingly, the ANSI author does not mention the prosthetic arm / hand race with one single word. Not one word! This in plain American English is as clear a statement as there can be a statement. However, this blog-website here is more verbally explicit.

Instead of just keeping my mouth shut, though, I will critique the attempt of using the SHAP or such, the publicizing, the maneuver so to speak, as there are rather constructive insights to be gained by doing so [link].

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