expletive-ethereal
expletive-ethereal
expletive-ethereal
expletive-ethereal

Category: Otto Bock Michelangelo hand

Der Cybathlon 2016 wurde bei den Armprothesen von einem Mann mit "Hook" gewonnen [#research #surprise #bodypowered]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Der Cybathlon 2016 wurde bei den Armprothesen von einem Mann mit "Hook" gewonnen [#research #surprise #bodypowered]; published October 11, 2016, 18:34; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6670.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Der Cybathlon 2016 wurde bei den Armprothesen von einem Mann mit "Hook" gewonnen [#research #surprise #bodypowered]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6670}}


2 Comments

Ich weiss jetzt nicht, ob Sie das mitbekommen haben. Und ob Sie begreifen was da passiert ist.

Aber am Cybathlon 2016 (Cybathlon, ETH, NCCR Robotics), einer Art Behindertenschaulaufen ohne besonderen  wissenschaftlichen aber dafuer sehr publikumswirksamen Hintergrund [wieso/was:link] mit mehrheitlich durch das Patronat der ETH suggerierten "High-Tech-Hintergrund" gewann ein Mann das Armprothesenrennen, der einen "Hook" trug [siehe detaillierte Griffanalyse, link]. Arschcool, mit 67 ein Senior, dort auch klar der älteste.

Fehlerfrei und schnell.

bodypoweredclothespins

Read More

The Cybathlon as iconic Trash Culture modern day Circus show: arm amputees, arms race and technical considerations regarding specific applicants [proper research domain assignment, pre-race evaluation of critical check points, detailed in-race grip analysis, cultural domain considerations, gonzo race report]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Cybathlon as iconic Trash Culture modern day Circus show: arm amputees, arms race and technical considerations regarding specific applicants [proper research domain assignment, pre-race evaluation of critical check points, detailed in-race grip analysis, cultural domain considerations, gonzo race report]; published October 7, 2016, 17:28; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6378.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - The Cybathlon as iconic Trash Culture modern day Circus show: arm amputees, arms race and technical considerations regarding specific applicants [proper research domain assignment, pre-race evaluation of critical check points, detailed in-race grip analysis, cultural domain considerations, gonzo race report]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6378}}


Executive summary

  • Arm amputation is more a social (and complex) than just a manual handicap in many daily situations. Therefore many approaches to dealing with it are social and socially motivated, including hand color. You did land on a right below elbow amputation website, like, apparently, so that is the angle from which this comes. Also we made sure this is the title of this website. Different aspects may apply to higher level and bilateral arm amputation, but that is not the target of this website.
  • Conversely, most actually manual problems are not major. What heavily impacts many unilateral arm amputees after 5-8 years or maybe after 10 -20 years, is the impact of overuse of the intact arm and asymmetry related problems. A rational approach to prevent that is to use prosthetic arms that excel particularly at the heavy to extreme range of physical exposure. Those are typically modern body powered arms. These use well established control principles, but can be made from very modern materials. They suffer from medial representations that are largely negative ("Captain Hook"). Myoelectric arms are termed "high tech" simply because they may contain a battery and motors, but they suffer from a battery of intractable or constrained problem combinations.
  • For that, the ETH has so far not been necessary to add to the field of prosthetic arms, but trash culture approaches have a lot going for them regardless of that. My own practical and pragmatic research (see also below) contains such elements and now, the ETH also is proud organizer of a Circus freak show (which in essence is an event that lacks academic approaches and reduces intellectual participation to staring).
  • Neither the ETH nor the NCCR Robotics ever managed to acknowledge that or develop even the tiniest solution to solve just about anything in that matter (remember the title of this page?). That is perfectly OK as quite possibly, myoelectric arms are uninteresting from an actual researcher point of view once one understands the full scope of problems, and body powered arms are uninteresting because their problems are a combination of mechanics, material science, and context dependent issues that usually require deep insights which is currently performed by a small relatively close knit international community of amputees, developers and researchers.
  • Given their academic background claims, ETH or NCCR based approaches could and should have focused on studying intricate differences and aspects of prosthetic arm success and failure during the Cybathlon competition in all situations, pre-race and in-race. I mean: if you claim you want to do, or push, research, better sit down and work on a really detailed introductory explanation to show that we all see how much you understand what detailed features we are all looking for. I am most definitely all for that, but I do not shy away from weird staring contest evaluations either. These define an amputee's daily reality more than you might like.
  • But to no surprise, the technical research representatives neither prepared, nor carried out, such, so any technical analysis of the race that then was presented to the public to actually increase some real understanding for the effectively present research problems and real world issues so it will never be possible in sufficient detail or write any great scientific paper about it. Or, not from how it looks now.
  • Thus, academically (not industrially, not as bystander, person that loves to stare at arm amputees or spectator), the event of the Cybathlon prosthetic arm race was a thoroughly missed opportunity if not a failure.
  • This does not mean that the Cybathlon as such was meaningless; it just showed that body powered technology (TRS, TRS prehensor) as very calmly and perfectly performed and carried out by a 67 year old man (Bob Radocy) that did not visibly hurry but chewed gum for the whole event left all "robotic" competition behind - while I had warned the organizers from a one-dimensional overly simplistic evaluation two years ago. I had always told them exactly what Claudia Breidbach said in her statement after the finals race: you cannot compare, across various different arm amputation with adapted different devices, what a good performance is. They knew as they had been extensively informed beforehand. The search for what prosthetic arms should be able to actually do well remains ongoing though, the odyssey apparently continues with a Cybathlon 2020.
  • And while any evidence based rational mind would now more than ever (a) want a body powered prosthesis and (b) further research on that type of prosthesis, it was the very clear aim by the organizers to not include these arms in the race at all, until I had imposed myself onto the organizers, had a very serious word with them and convinced them to admit also body powered arms which they did.
  • The Swiss National Foundation (SNF) is strongly advised to look into the intricate aspects of all failures of (a) research opportunities missed and (b) strategic solutions actually needed in prosthetic arm and hand field, (c) appoint very competent coordinators and advisors there and (d) not finance silly "competitions" such as this that do not further science at all or (e) finance more myoelectric nonsense.
  • All the same, the Cybathlon was a great experience in how ETH hype, tech media hype and gadget hand industry hype take a royal tanking against real life based real men, and, if you need a short but intensive read on the reasons why the myoelectric arms missed out today, check my Cybathlon Symposium scientific contribution, you will find there more relevant text than in many other places.
  • I do not hate myoelectric arms. Personally I must have invested more finances into my own myoelectric gadgets than into my body powered components. However, that does not make me blind, dumb or gadget happy. I still test, look, think and analyze. I still work on finding better ways, solutions, parts or usage tricks for both systems. But then, coming from an engineering perspective (funny you come here to read that) - finding the exact problem, identifying the exact issue, has been placed before being ablt to solving it. And the simple beauty of engineering is, that whatever your attempt at covering up your tricks, at the end of the day, the contraption either works, or it does not.
  • While Professor Riener verbally once (1) at the Cybathlon race itself mentioned the fact that cable powered technology won (we were there, see Gonzo report below), they made sure none of that leaked to the Swiss television, or BBC, or newspapers, or IEEE, or other press. They simply buried the fact that they were left eating dust by some very athletic older gentleman wearing a body powered prosthetic arm. Because that is like having someone in sandals and swim trunks run up on Mount Everest. They do not report that as it is seen as putting the other efforts to shame rather than being seen as someone, something, a situation to finally learn from. And that puts massive question marks to the news writers, tech representatives and researchers: is what you do something we have to believe, because quite clearly, facts are not consistent with it? Do you represent a type of religion or belief system?
  • Not all are like that. The Scientific American, a journal that I am a subscriber and reader of since many, many years, reports extremely well, and explains the actual technical aspects of the winning device.
  • The Cybathlon was announced as competition that allows visitors to "understand the issues surrounding disability in a practical way". When not even the organizers understand these issues, and not even in a theoretical way, how on earth can they assume an ability to instruct visitors so they understand disability issues?

Trash Culture, the Cybathlon prosthetic arms race show Circus, and other prosthetic limb Trash Culture approaches

"Mommy, do I have to repeat every mistake others made before me myself?" - "Yes, one can learn so much from mistakes".

Don't get me wrong here.

Trash Culture is a great contemporary experience. If anything, this is what gets people talking. But it is not research or academic. This is not at all a critique, but an attempt to better localize this strange event in context of prosthetic arms, amputation and society.

It is just a Circus.

To unmake it a Circus and Make It a Technical Contest, a bit more attention to detail would have be needed. A lot more attention to detail would have made it a great event. That all was missed.

Now, I will supplement you with the required extra details below to make it a research observation despite the organizers successful attempts to keep it simple, hip, sexy and trashy .... but let that not spoil the fun for you.

boot

Read More

Otto Bock's funny video (hooks after all? needle and thread benchmark?)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock's funny video (hooks after all? needle and thread benchmark?); published June 13, 2015, 16:18; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4981.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock's funny video (hooks after all? needle and thread benchmark?)}}, month = {June},year = {2015}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4981}}


2 Comments

After I seriously promoted hook grip predominance for years (read this friggin website), after I tried to introduce the Becker Hand to a wider audience (Otto Bock can not top that, it costs less than 700 bucks, is sturdy, survives even my lifestyle and does have an adaptive grip) also by using it to place a string into a needle YEARS ago, Otto Bock seems to now expand their heavy and overly expensive Michelangelo anchor with a choice of hook. They then manage to post an April Fool date video with that. How funny is that. Confused!!

Seriously. I was not THAT desperate for getting confirmation, and certainly not from these people.

As they sold me botched bolts a few years ago and when faced with bare facts (to this day) refused to apologize, instead recommended to get ergotherapy (probably to better use their crappy hardware) it is unbelievable to see them present this here. Why is the person not holding the needle with the hook, and using their natural hand to put in the thread? Where are ergo-therapists when Otto Bock needs them most?

We also realize that Otto Bock may not just have hooks that have a sustained capacity to grab threads. They also have other hooks. Incidentally, maybe keep posting videos of that one hook's ability to grab a string over the coming months and years.

Because really, Otto Bock hook experience with threads is more like this:

And really, body powered remains the better choice after all. Not with Otto Bock parts though.

But with a Hosmer hook, a V2P prehensor or maybe a Becker hand. Exceeds most of Otto Bock's specs ; )

And seriously. If you are after real work (maybe here) (or a lot harder, here or here), ask me, maybe I found out stuff that could help you. Just saying.

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_1571762203, 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

Making coffee as arm amputee benchmark activity / ADL activities of daily living [demo]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Making coffee as arm amputee benchmark activity / ADL activities of daily living [demo]; published June 3, 2012, 23:15; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=548.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Making coffee as arm amputee benchmark activity / ADL activities of daily living [demo]}}, month = {June},year = {2012}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=548}}


The currently available demo benchmark activities that attempt to show the greatness of ~90'000 USD priced loud fragile "bionic" hands include videos of activities that do not at all require that extra hand, like, making instant coffee : ) - as can be seen here in all glory......:

Read More

Unlauter: SF DRS (Schweizer Fernsehen) wirbt fuer Otto Bock [Missbrauch Billag-Gebuehren]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Unlauter: SF DRS (Schweizer Fernsehen) wirbt fuer Otto Bock [Missbrauch Billag-Gebuehren]; published January 18, 2012, 01:15; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=526.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Unlauter: SF DRS (Schweizer Fernsehen) wirbt fuer Otto Bock [Missbrauch Billag-Gebuehren]}}, month = {January},year = {2012}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=526}}


Otto Bock Michelangelo hand DEMO [Gonzo report]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand DEMO [Gonzo report]; published May 27, 2011, 12:01; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=416.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand DEMO [Gonzo report]}}, month = {May},year = {2011}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=416}}


3 Comments

[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

Zurich, May 27th 2011.

Dipl.-Ing. Martin Wehrle presented the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand starting at 9:00 AM in a presentation at our local technical orthopedic service, Balgrist Tec. To that purpose he was wearing one on his right arm. This is my Gonzo report about the event.

Read More

Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - new multi electrode version [rumor]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - new multi electrode version [rumor]; published May 20, 2011, 22:49; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=414.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - new multi electrode version [rumor]}}, month = {May},year = {2011}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=414}}


2 Comments

[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

The video below seems to show a 6 or 7 electrode hand. By origin (Austria) and appearance this likely is an advanced Otto Bock Michelangelo hand. It is rather noisy as is the iLimb. It appears that before they started to roll out their 2-electrode hand to orthopedic technicians, they already try to get it up to level with multi electrode control and, hopefully, trained grip patterns.

Interesting!

Read More

Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - length of unit about 185 mm of wrist to tip of thumb, weight around 700g [rumor]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - length of unit about 185 mm of wrist to tip of thumb, weight around 700g [rumor]; published April 10, 2011, 14:16; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=393.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Otto Bock Michelangelo hand - length of unit about 185 mm of wrist to tip of thumb, weight around 700g [rumor]}}, month = {April},year = {2011}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=393}}


1 Comment

[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

Length of the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand unit measured tip of thumb to wrist mount is allegedly about 18,5 cm. This is certainly relevant to know right from the outset. As that it can not be considered for people with longer stumps such as me.

Weight apparently is around 700g without socket. That will probably place it up there with the other myo arms, weight wise.

Read More

What does Otto Bock mean by "significant benefits" with their Michelangelo hand?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What does Otto Bock mean by "significant benefits" with their Michelangelo hand?; published November 3, 2010, 05:31; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=363.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What does Otto Bock mean by "significant benefits" with their Michelangelo hand?}}, month = {November},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=363}}


[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

In their ISPO World Congress 2010 Leipzig contribution, Otto Bock stated their Michelangelo hand would show significant benefits for arm amputees.

After an initially very appealing presentation of the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand, absence of further functional improvements at the Leipzig 2010 exhibition appeared to miss out on some functions that we would expect by now, given that 2008 research already reported some of these. Also, the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand is *not* thought-controlled as some may believe.

So when I see my prosthetic technicians spending their time traveling to Otto Bock Michelangelo demos, instead of conducting seminars about how to build better body powered arms, and instead I find myself in my own work shop every now and so often, revising their work, fixing their work, coming up with the technical designs they would be paoAs rotatory cuff problems are one of the bigger and more neglected aspects, improvement of shoulder strain certainly would count as significant. For that, grip geometry and weight are key issues.

The following video shows a Otto Bock Michelangelo hand demonstration.

Read More

Gedankengesteuerte Armprothese von Otto Bock: die Michelangelo-Hand [Medien-Hysterie]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Gedankengesteuerte Armprothese von Otto Bock: die Michelangelo-Hand [Medien-Hysterie]; published May 16, 2010, 21:46; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=308.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Gedankengesteuerte Armprothese von Otto Bock: die Michelangelo-Hand [Medien-Hysterie]}}, month = {May},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=308}}


[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

Wie immer: Nichtbehinderte verfallen immer wieder in eine Art Hysterie beim Thema Prothesentechnik, und die kann blind machen

Von Nichtbehinderten wissen wir, dass sie mitunter bei Kontakt mit Behinderten eine sie selbst blind machende Hysterie, einen gestressten Eifer an den Tag legen.

Ein Problem koennte sein, dass unser Comme-il-faut, unser Benimm-Buch, der Umgangs-Kodex unserer Gesellschaft, keine wirklichen Regeln fuer den Umgang mit Behinderungen vorsieht. Es ist daher Vorsicht, Mut und Improvisationstalent gefragt. Das ist aber nicht allen Leuten gegeben. Das Fehlen derartiger Hilfestellungen koennte dann dazu fuehren, dass Nichtbehinderte, die mit diesen etwas unklaren Situationen ueberfordert sind, auf gelegentlich durchaus stereotype Weise reagieren.

Auch Journalisten haben solche Reaktionen. Die Gesellschaft insgesamt 'kennt' dann die Darbieter des Wunderglaubens, man sei 'da' (mit verheissungsvollem Blick auf den Armstumpf) schon 'sehr weit' - etwa Otto Bock oder Touchbionics.

Da geben sich diese Firmen echte Muehe, aus etwas Plastik und Elektrik Dinge fuer einen tausendfachen Preis als "bionische Prothese" zu verkaufen. Versicherungen sind verunsichert ;) und die Hersteller wittern extreme Renditen. Aber wer ihnen auf den Leim geht, ist selbst schuld: Medienhypes sind nicht neu. Und sie sind als schaedlich zu betrachten.

Und jetzt heisst es, die Michelangelo-Hand sei 'gedankengesteuert'. So ... mal wieder ein hysterischer Tag?

Read More

What happened to the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What happened to the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand?; published May 12, 2010, 21:14; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=307.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What happened to the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand?}}, month = {May},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=307}}


[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

Cost of Michelangelo hand

As of 2013, the Michelangelo hand was reported to cost around 90'000 CHF. An extension of the 1-year warranty (!) appears to cost another 10'000 CHF.

What did we expect?

Earlier press releases of the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand had showed a great industrial look that resembled famous real world prosthetic hands, such as the Becker Imperial hand.

So far and in my view, the Otto Bock Michelangelo design study was the coolest prosthetic design close to production ever (don't get me started on the coolest design NOT close to production).

Functionally, I did expect the Michelangelo hand to lead the market with a first multi electrode or full surface recording, with interference stable electronics that they built together with any of the major mobile phone or laptop computer manufacturers, and obviously a data glove for the remaining hand to train the whole system. Full customer software access is a given for anything that costs over 2'000 CHF and with myoelectric technology sold at prices around 30'000 CHF upwards I will expect full access to any part at any time. Also, batteries are out, Toshiba now sells fuel cells. Where are they?

But what happened!?

At the OT-Leipzig 2010 exhibition (below), they showed this oops-looking white el-cheapo rapid prototyping design. What it conveys is neither male, nor capable, or cool. None of these. There are no cables, no steel, no rust, no dried up color drip to tell us "man at work" - in essence, no coolness to fill us with joy. Waaah!

And I believe we have too be critical of what is shown as test, as proof of concept, as apparent sign of possible usefulness.

So tell me, when will they stop peeling bananas or filling water bottles, or holding on to objects of no particular concern? All these are actions of no particular prosthetic need (ANPPN). They do not prove a thing. We can do any of these just as well with a hook - or even a regular Otto Bock hand. And we can do them more comfortable and without any recharge, at a far lesser cost and with far cooler looks.

Try to show us something new. Show us piano play, guitar picking, show us a fist and then an extended index finger. Show us *new* stuff, that's what I meant to say.

Read More

2010's "bionic" prostheses and why they fail

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - 2010's "bionic" prostheses and why they fail; published February 8, 2010, 11:19; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=282.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571762203, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - 2010's "bionic" prostheses and why they fail}}, month = {February},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=282}}


[Find all articles about the Otto Bock Michelangelo hand]

We wonder why these very cool looking and beautifully designed "bionic" prostheses [BeBionic, iLimb, Michelangelo] remain cumbersome and why, as products, they just tank.

The mechanism why we must love them is neurological. Our brain is programmed to positively respond to certain triggers. We like shiney objects. We love 3D. And we sure love things that promise both. So it is clear why "boinic" hands are loved by engineers, tinkerers, media and the (non disabled or otherwise disabled) public alike: by virtue of the Mesmerized Bunny Effect.

They do not stand up to promise. And if previous clear indications keep getting ignored, I'll repeat them here. After all, upper extremity prostheses are rejected by 33% to 38% of those users that do participate in surveys - and that is a lot. Not counting these that are disillusioned and stop participating. That failure rate is so high, in fact, that we see it is an industry failing its clients through small time tinkering and greed, not an industry facing a daunting job.

If these prostheses actually were 'bionic', they would not just look like a movie prop. Instead, by being truly bionic, they would:

  1. Feel 'bionic' - that is, painless, seamlessly integrated, worrilessly angulated, stress free in grip control,
  2. Move 'bionic' - prosthetic parts move in a fluid and effortless motion together with existing joints rather than just doing simple grasp/ungrasp motion,
  3. Degrade and fail 'bionically' - that is, fail gracefully and gradually.

But in reality, 'bionic' used for such constructions is probably a straight plain lie. It is most likely founded in hyped up overadvertising and not at all in reality as particularly these myoelectric prosthetic arms:

  1. do not feel seamlessly integrated, worrilessly angulated and stress free in their grip control but quite the contrary: grip control is typically unreliable, elbow motion is heavily and painfully restricted, there is no wrist motion at all at my level of amputation, so the term 'bionic' has no bearing here;
  2. do not move in a fluid and effortless motion together with existing joints and residual extremities but in reality, they produce isolated uncoordinated motion that turn my elbow and shoulder muscles to painful hardwood;
  3. do not at all fail gracefully and gradually, but are alive one moment, dead next moment, grip hard one moment and let go the next; I never dropped as much stuff as when wearing the myo arm. These are embarassingly unreliable. I much rather go out without prosthesis.

If we look at the materials, make, design, care of build and other details of many commercially available parts, it is mind-bogglingly easy to understand: prosthetic arms are built rather affordably and then sold for huge amounts of money, and getting that money back as a client, or revising any technical decision - as a client - is next to impossible. Once insurance buys that prosthesis, money is gone.

It takes a simple user as me just about a year to figure that out - but so-called specialists have been playing pogo-pogo with the subject for decades. Absent wrist and restricted elbow motion due to a painful and hard to use socket - and then act 'surprised' that shoulders and back are overused and painful and hard when just touched gently? Obviously that type of outcome is common and in each and every instance it is very bad. Then what? More 'bionic' gadgets? Why insurances don't investigate this is beyond me. Can't they afford specialists?

Of course, amputees don't melt or go away. Were you thinking that? Long lasting disappointment is one outcome, another one is to not even showing up for studies no more. Yet another outcome is shoulder overuse due to poor fitting of the prosthetic parts into one's overall activity, and poor shoulder function is conversely associated with particularly poor prosthetic usage. A recent outcome is that amputees start to network and create their own activity to remedy the lack of cogent care by finding better representatives of support.

No, really we are dealing with an industry that is shooting itself into its own foot. In a major way. And it is necessary to address that in very clear terms.

When I tried my first myoelectric arm, I had a special socket made for testing purposes. It was very painful, I could not lift stuff, the hand was not reliable, the elbow could not be leaned upon. And all it all it was a particularly cumbersome experience so I read up in current medical literature. Also, I was surprised and asked other users.

  • A user of > 20 years of experience: "And everything you describe is how it was for me. The elbow was pushed inward to fit tight over my elbow, to help hold the thing on...yeah right! The tiniest bit of sweat and it would slide down and pinch my elbow bones to the point of pain. And so, besides the cost of the thing, that's why I don't wear anything anymore."
  • A user of > 50 years of experience: "I have not yet seen any myo that can out perform a body powered unit unless there is no residual limb left to work with. Particularly if it's bang for my own buck....there is no comparison. Just ask for a reference of a satisfied myo user with similar condition to yours. I'll bet you don't get one or if you do it will be disappointing. Also demand a gratis build if you find it too uncomfortable to use. I predict that there will be a lot of shuffling and maybees. 50 + years of experience here and nothing has changed but the costs."
  • Another user: "I have a myo electric arm and the not in control, I am finding out..(..) Just the slightest muscle movement its like the arm goes into a "fit"."

So, here is why these "bionic" hands tank.

Read More

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com
I footnotes
x2