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Category: EC puppetry

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_1569220161, 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}}


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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Bad Hand Day V - will the mobile app actually start?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bad Hand Day V - will the mobile app actually start?; published January 23, 2018, 23:01; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8150.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569220161, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bad Hand Day V - will the mobile app actually start?}}, month = {January},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=8150}}


As I was lucky tonight, the app for the Touchbionics iLimb actually started after the 8th attempt. That is better than it was, there were times when it did not start at all.

So first, one spends a bit of time "warming the system up".

Time lapse video loop (2x), exuding serene obsolescence:

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Toughware Equilux - new VO (voluntary opening) / VC (voluntary closing) body powered device - first usage report [NEW PRODUCT]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Toughware Equilux - new VO (voluntary opening) / VC (voluntary closing) body powered device - first usage report [NEW PRODUCT]; published August 13, 2017, 20:06; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7462.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569220161, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Toughware Equilux - new VO (voluntary opening) / VC (voluntary closing) body powered device - first usage report [NEW PRODUCT]}}, month = {August},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7462}}


I was offered the privilege to provide a first usage test and report for a new body powered device. This device allows an "on the fly" switch between VC (voluntary closing) and VO (voluntary opening) control mode.

If you use a prosthetic arm recreationally, for fun, for "the little things that count", such as opening the odd envelope, holding the odd water bottle while filling it with tap water, or pushing the odd knob on your coffee machine, then it probably does not matter what device you wear, or how it would hold up. But if you usually demand performances of your prosthesis that are in the domain of the "unreal", the difficult to cover for existing devices, then having a terminal device that allows on the fly switching between these two control modes really is a big thing. It means that I can switch between the most popular passive grasp mode (VO) - used to carry or hold on to items without thinking - and the most powerful dynamic and forceful grasp mode that ever exists for prosthetic arms (VC).

The device is called "Equilux" and it is (or will be) manufactured by Toughware PRX.

Toughware PRX
2514 West 104th Circle
Westminster, Colorado 80234-3508
Telephone:303-635-1619
FAX:303-635-1621
E-mail: info@toughwareprx.com

An outstanding feature is that the device also provides for the fact that normally, VO works better with slightly longer control cables, whereas the VC system requires mildly shorter ones. This device's flip / switch design does away with this by way of clever design. So with one good control cable length, you are set.

As a further feature, it contains an interface for exchangeable grip pads. As we will see, this is a relevant aspect, that will have to be followed up in the future.

QR code for this post:

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What to do once your arm has mindboggling amounts of DOF but your stump can only address 2-3 ? [tech scifi stuff]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What to do once your arm has mindboggling amounts of DOF but your stump can only address 2-3 ? [tech scifi stuff]; published March 8, 2016, 19:08; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5779.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1569220161, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What to do once your arm has mindboggling amounts of DOF but your stump can only address 2-3 ? [tech scifi stuff]}}, month = {March},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5779}}


Currently, media are swamped with the display of what they call "phantom limb project" (really not the first time that someone uses "phantom" for a prosthetic arm; read about my Becker Phantom hand from 3 years ago right here). So apparently, some prosthetic technician spent major amounts of time trying to construct this computer game look-a-like arm to a degree where its user apparently considers that he is a cyborg with an additional "cyborg mother", as if prosthetic parts have parents, too. Yeah, and my website also has a "cyborg father". If you listen for him, you might hear him breathe, "...khhhhh-ccccchhhhhhhhh-khhhhhhh-czzzzzh...".

dvader

Where is Amber Case, when we need her.

Now, while that Metal Gear inspired prosthetic arm design worn by James Young certainly does not look like it is going to wreck major brick walls any time soon, they might explore entirely different aspects of such equipment.

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