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Category: Research premise myths

BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL - Hammer use to hammer nails, with "bionic" prosthetic hand, poses tricky Catch-22 for Cybathlon 2020 [review]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL - Hammer use to hammer nails, with "bionic" prosthetic hand, poses tricky Catch-22 for Cybathlon 2020 [review]; published April 20, 2019, 10:28; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9594.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL - Hammer use to hammer nails, with "bionic" prosthetic hand, poses tricky Catch-22 for Cybathlon 2020 [review]}}, month = {April},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9594}}


The Cybathlon 2020 race rules confront us with two interesting Catch-22 aspects:

-hammering (if not other dangerous) activity that is not endorsed by "bionic" hand manufacturers

-use of damaged / perforated covers, not endorsed by Ossur [link]

A hammer, particularly a cheap or small one, even more so than a heavy dangerous "real" hammer, is an unlikely tool to use with an ~80 000 USD myoelectric "bionic" device that is specifically built to sustain only the lightest of work. And the subject of hammering, technically, as arm amputee with a prosthetic arm, has become relevant since the Cybathlon 2020 directors [link] have taken it upon themselves to make it a "discipline".

STOP - HAMMER TIME?

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Was ist mit Cybathlon@SCHOOL moeglicherweise problematisch?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Was ist mit Cybathlon@SCHOOL moeglicherweise problematisch?; published March 2, 2019, 11:39; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9404.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Was ist mit Cybathlon@SCHOOL moeglicherweise problematisch?}}, month = {March},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9404}}


Cybathlon@SCHOOL ist ein Programm, das Behinderte, Armamputierte auch, als "Material" bezeichnet und anpreist.

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User perspective on the rubber hand illusion in a wider sense – prosthetic arm and ownership for real use [reflection and consideration]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - User perspective on the rubber hand illusion in a wider sense – prosthetic arm and ownership for real use [reflection and consideration]; published January 2, 2019, 22:16; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8882.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - User perspective on the rubber hand illusion in a wider sense – prosthetic arm and ownership for real use [reflection and consideration]}}, month = {January},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8882}}


The year 2018 was interesting in relation to the rubber hand illusion subject.

I had participated in an extensive interview study regarding embodiment just a year before [link]. Then, I had been identified as a prosthesis "super user" [link] - these people wanted to investigate my type of "embodiment" through fMRI, but we quickly identified my prosthetic arm design (not my brain) as the key aspect regarding the question of why I have a prosthesis that I can actually use rather than just pose with as so many others. My own view here clearly is that if you are after embodiment, you have to go all Sherlock Holmes, you have to go all forensic, all CSI and all crime mystery: and as in "cherchez la femme" when looking for a motive in a crime, it is "cherchez le bras" when studying embodiment: for all issues that center around prosthetic use, go for the core physical aspects first. There are extremely bad things that may, can, and will happen if you do not make that your real first priority. The "rubber hand illusion" is an extreme variation of body ownership of a rubber hand that does not even touch a person and still that person thinks they are being touched if that rubber hand is touched. The illusion to make an amputee believe they embody or bodily own a prosthetic hand is quite different. But both pose risks, whereas the risk that an amputee faces when getting a prosthetic arm that is integrated into his body image has not been considered yet. My slightly experience based consideration proposes that the body image is tyrannically governed, for good and for bad, and if the prosthetic body part - already starting with bad cards, body image wise - craps out, and it always does so far too often, then it draws the hot red angry ire, the depressed disappointment, the falling apart of the cyborg body, of the amputee - and definitely not the cool "oh a neutral object just disintegrated" that one will wish for from a societal, insurance or repair view. The integration into a body image brings with it that the device becomes subject to totally tyranically governed bodies. When it is difficult enough to make any device ready for real world usage, making it ready to survive tyrannies of that nature will be even harder. I proposed an unforgiving approach to failure testing in a recent paper (link) but I cannot say that paper has been greeted with any enthusiasm by the industry that actually builds prosthetic arm components. Because they get to directly face the anger, hate, and rejection of all the users that they had not informed well of just how fragile their prosthetic arm parts really are (link), and they are in absolutely no position to technically improve these parts. So, manufacturers go into hiding. They do not want many users - they want users that buy and do not complain. The last thing they need is a hard bright unforgiving look into just how bad their engineering is. Every non-user, every rejector, should be cautiously left alone, not recruited to wear a prosthesis - because the risk is considerable (link). Researchers currently have the problem that amputees run away, everywhere (link), also because we are continously treated as mentally incompetent. So in essence, we are a group of people that increasingly realizes the extent to which we are being fooled, being had, told stories, and increasingly, we are getting critical. Potential rubber hand illusion switches, dragged to market to be soldered into prosthetic arms, if ever they are a medical treatment or a part thereof, will have negative effects as well: what are these? What do we know about deeply problematic aspects of bodily ownership? I had been invited to talk about that aspect for a group of people interested in robotic control and user interfaces, on December 7th 2018, in Mannheim (Germany). The presentation that I gave now is typed out here in more detail for further reference.

Rubber hand illusion is an idea that, by and large, was somehow transformed into multi-sensory rubber hand illusion, and they now want to put it into prosthetic arms to make users believe the prosthesis belongs to their bodies.

With that, rubber hand illusion goes to market1)As in: piggy goes to market..

This is not really that fascinating. While I am not interested in prosthetic arms because I find the field fascinating, I have been drawn into the field due to circumstances. And as much as you feel that I am locked into this constraint space of shared idiocies, dreams, hopes and failing hardware together with you, in some type of brotherhood by bad fate, you may also realize you are locked into this with me, as consequence of bad fate. Those then are also circumstances. As I deal with it, you may also have to find a way. If you think that is uncomfortable, send me a mail, so we may talk about uncomfortable a bit.

The ultimate consquence of this piece of reflection is not at all bad, however. We will see just how too much "ownership" has bad aspects as well. It risks to slip prosthetic hands into a domain where it is subject to the most vicious decision making that there is: tyrannic and wilful, impulsive and emotional decision making within one's own very personal domain of body or body image with owned body part dependent urgencies and requirements. To withstand these storms, a  prosthetic arm has to withstand not only the physical requirements of real life use (which it normally does not to a degree that will make your jaw drop), it also has to be acknowledged in that capacity by manufacturers and care-givers, emergency teams or repair units, where none of similarly urgencies are currently provided.

To even reach a level of "tool", to be useful enough to be accepted as technical solution (not as embodied "owned" limb), a typical prosthetic arm may have to undergo a most serious metamorphosis, from commercial parts (link)(link) to tuned and optimized parts (link). If you are in R&D and want to do something good in support of arm amputees, it may be relevant to address actual issues such as failing devices or phantom pain (link), before going all out on a limb and drag ill-defined concepts to a domain where they may wreck more than they really help.

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1. As in: piggy goes to market.

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_1569096970, 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}
}

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_1569096970, 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. And I was invited to talk about embodiment in context of the "rubber hand illusion" at a user interface or robotic control workshop [link].

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

Tsk.

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Disability as spectacle? [tracing everyday experiences to follow this proposed aspect]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Disability as spectacle? [tracing everyday experiences to follow this proposed aspect]; published June 14, 2016, 19:37; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6165.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Disability as spectacle? [tracing everyday experiences to follow this proposed aspect]}}, month = {June},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6165}}


An upcoming conference seems to hit more precisely than any other contemporary "spectacle" - from body "hacking" (featuring people that quite simply wear stock item devices) over "workshops" where participants are filmed or photographed (but do not get systematic solutions to all aspects that are shown) to "bionic" limb featurettes - the subject at the very core of the current preoccupation of society with disability is not help or support but focus. Support may only be part of making things appear right.

Actual, true, and dedicated improvement or help is not rendered. It is at best shown as sugar coating, thrown in as minimal excuse, offered as pretense, but not made a didactic or technical focus. We now need to delineate real work, real support from sugar coated symbolism that has different goals and purposes.

What is *featured* here - in that conference - is the "spectacle" aspect. What is featured in some odd "bionic" arm workshop is exactly that: they call it "help" - but they invite television to show how good they are and the focus is not on actual function but on "how it looks and appears to the public". They call it "support", but its main feature is a live stream of discussions on media channels all the while the hook remains the best prosthetic ever.

disabilityasspectacle

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Prosthetic options and Yenga - intricate grip differentiation details [up close grip mechanics]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic options and Yenga - intricate grip differentiation details [up close grip mechanics]; published June 14, 2016, 19:30; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6144.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic options and Yenga - intricate grip differentiation details [up close grip mechanics]}}, month = {June},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6144}}


Playing Yenga at a prosthetic arm workshop was interesting.

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Constraints in prosthetic arm research (literature review)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Constraints in prosthetic arm research (literature review); published June 1, 2016, 12:11; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6068.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Constraints in prosthetic arm research (literature review)}}, month = {June},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6068}}


A recent literature review  [1] lists apparent priorities and requirements for prosthetic arms. It mentions the fact that a prior literature review, dated 20 years earlier, already contained some of these requirements.

The necessary conclusions however are not presented; they really boil down to two reasons why that could be:

  • it should be evaluated whether the reasons given 20 years ago and again now just present excuses and not actual requirements;
  • it should be evaluated exactly who focused on practically resolving these issues through research or components, and why, possibly, they failed.
  • it should be evaluated inasmuch academic research now follows its own self-made "requirements" that, really, have absolutely no relevance in everyday life

Let us look at the research assumptions and these apparent requirements, point by point.

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[1] [doi] F. Cordella, A. L. Ciancio, R. Sacchetti, A. Davalli, A. Cutti, E. Guglielmelli, and L. Zollo, "Literature review on needs of upper limb prosthesis users," Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 10, iss. 209, 2016.
[Bibtex]
@ARTICLE{cordella2016review,  
 AUTHOR={Cordella, Francesca  and  Ciancio, Anna Lisa  and  Sacchetti, Rinaldo  and  Davalli, Angelo  and  Cutti, Andrea  and  Guglielmelli, Eugenio  and  Zollo, Loredana},   
TITLE={Literature review on needs of upper limb prosthesis users},      
JOURNAL={Frontiers in Neuroscience},      
VOLUME={10},      
YEAR={2016},        
NUMBER={209},         
URL={http://www.frontiersin.org/neuroprosthetics/10.3389/fnins.2016.00209/abstract},       
DOI={10.3389/fnins.2016.00209}
}

Was bringt der Cybathlon 2016? (kurze Uebersicht)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Was bringt der Cybathlon 2016? (kurze Uebersicht); published May 31, 2016, 23:59; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5276.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Was bringt der Cybathlon 2016? (kurze Uebersicht)}}, month = {May},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5276}}


2 Comments

Was ist dieses Cybathlon denn?

(Updates zum Thema: hier)

Der Cybathlon 2016 (link) ist ein Versuch, durch Aktivismus der Oeffentlichkeit unter anderem das für die Oeffentlichkeit weitgehend irrelevante (link) Problem der aus Anwendersicht eher leidigen (Problemzyklus - link) Armprothesen näherzubringen - ohne dabei aber jegliche effektive Forschung zur ingenieurtechnischen oder auch sozialen Verbesserung der Stellung Armamputierter auch nur irgendwie ins Auge zu fassen.

Dies verwundert insofern nicht, als die Organisatoren zwar anscheinend die ETH Zürich repräsentieren, aber auf ihrer Publikationsliste keinerlei erkennbare nennenswerte (Sie befinden sich hier auf was für einer Webseite? Was wird hier als "nennenswert" angesehen?) Errungenschaften auf dem Gebiet der Armprothetik vorzuweisen haben und auch im persönlichen Umgang eher wenig aktives freundliches Interesse an der Kernthematik an den Tag legen. Es wäre damit denkbar, dass man sie zu diesem Anlass "verknurrt" oder "verbrummt" hat. Es geht dann allerdings nicht ohne Kritik.

dancedancedance

"Man ist da heute ja, äh, sehr weit". (Anonymer Akademiker) 

Der Cybathlon ist finanziert vom NCCR Robotics und stellt damit einen Werbefeldzug für teure - aber nicht "brauchbare" - "Hightech"-Prothesen dar, insbesondere dabei für Forschung auf dem Gebiet der teuren, schweren, aber weitgehend für reale bimanuelle einigermassen schwere - also sog. Echte - Arbeitstätigkeit nutzlosen sogenannten "bionischen" myoelektrischen Prothesen (für beispielhafte Anwendungen und Vertiefung siehe hier).

Dies kontrastiert damit, dass die universitären Forschungseinrichtungen der Schweiz auf dem Gebiet der Armprothetik - darunter verstehe ich diejenige Produktesorte, welche zur Berufs- und Alltagsrehabilitation Armamputierter verwendet wird, welche von Unfall-, Kranken- oder Invalidätsversicherungen übernommen werden und somit den gesetzlichen Anforderungen genügen - nichts (also: nichts) vorzuweisen haben.

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Missing hand, hook, and perceived risk [sociology of fables leaking into modern day perceptions]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Missing hand, hook, and perceived risk [sociology of fables leaking into modern day perceptions]; published May 30, 2016, 22:40; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4681.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Missing hand, hook, and perceived risk [sociology of fables leaking into modern day perceptions]}}, month = {May},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4681}}


Fables and fairy tales carry narratives whose symbolism swaps over into apparently secular perceptions [1]. In other words, even societies that claim to be educated, enlightened and secular typically risk to follow myths - unless they take very specific care to not get trapped there.

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[1] S. White, "Severed Hands as Symbols of Humanity in Legend and Popular Narratives," , 2014.
[Bibtex]
@article{white2014severed,
  title={Severed Hands as Symbols of Humanity in Legend and Popular Narratives},
  author={White, Scott},
  year={2014}
}

Wieso ist das, was die Veranstalter zum Cybathlon 2016 schreiben dummblöd? (Technologieerklärung)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Wieso ist das, was die Veranstalter zum Cybathlon 2016 schreiben dummblöd? (Technologieerklärung); published May 30, 2016, 18:18; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5521.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Wieso ist das, was die Veranstalter zum Cybathlon 2016 schreiben dummblöd? (Technologieerklärung)}}, month = {May},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5521}}


Auf einer Webseite des Cybathlon 2016 (ausführlicher Kommentar hier) schreiben die Veranstalter (Impressum: Prof. Dr. Robert Riener; Redaktion: Robinson Kundert) folgenden Textabschnitt:

  • "Von Captain Hook zu Iron Man? Begeben Sie sich in unserem Museum auf eine Reise von den Anfängen der Unterstützungstechnik bis hin zur Gegenwart. Erfahren Sie, wie sich Prothesen und Rollstühle in all den Jahren entwickelt und verbessert haben. PluSport zeigt Ihnen anhand einer einzigartigen Sammlung verschiedenster Exponate die enormen Veränderungen in diesem Bereich und begleitet Sie auf Ihrem Weg zur Zukunft, dem Cybathlon. Ihre Vielfalt widerspiegelt die historische und technologische Entwicklung diverser Hilfsmittel und Sportgeräte im Bereich Behinderung. Lassen Sie sich mit einer einmaligen Betreuung von paralympischen Athletinnen und Athleten durch das spannende Museum führen. Nutzen Sie die Gelegenheit Unbekanntes zu entdecken und lassen Sie sich begeistern."

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Should we take interest in the Cybathlon 2016? [website check]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Should we take interest in the Cybathlon 2016? [website check]; published May 30, 2014, 20:45; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2457.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569096970, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Should we take interest in the Cybathlon 2016? [website check]}}, month = {May},year = {2014}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2457}}


The idea of the Paradrom Rathausen was uber cool.

Who knows, this might be even cooler. Check 'er out!

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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_1569096970, 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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