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Category: Attitude

Prosthetic hand appearance in relation to cosplay and navigating apparent person [exhibition - CHRIS WILDRICK - THIS IS WHO I AM]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic hand appearance in relation to cosplay and navigating apparent person [exhibition - CHRIS WILDRICK - THIS IS WHO I AM]; published November 18, 2019, 19:36; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=10004.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic hand appearance in relation to cosplay and navigating apparent person [exhibition - CHRIS WILDRICK - THIS IS WHO I AM]}}, month = {November},year = {2019}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=10004}}


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From a recent exhibition by Chris Wildrick [link]: the exhibition "THIS IS WHO I AM" explores the use of appearance modification ("cosplay"). My own contribution is not exactly a cosplay related attempt at modifying the appearance of my prosthetic arm - but then maybe it aims at the core of cosplay, at least in a way.

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Promembro - Schweizer Lobbyisten wollen Hightech-Prothesen "legalisieren"

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

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Promembro - Schweizer Lobbyisten wollen Hightech-Prothesen "legalisieren"}}, month = {December},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9017}}


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

Damit moegen diese Individuen glauben, wer immer sie seien - aber meine Interessen vertreten sie mit Sicherheit nicht. Sie sind niemals "die" Lobby. Da sie behaupten, sie schaffen "ein Netz", das die Interessen der "gesamten" Prothesentraeger vertreten, ist die Behauptung (oben) bereits bewiesenermassen falsch. Sie vertreten mit Sicherheit meine Interessen, insbesondere diejenigen, die ich relevant finde, nicht. Dazu fehlt es erwiesenermassen an Verstaendnis, und vor allem Respekt. Vielmehr verwenden sie die laengst abgeschmackte Piraten-Metapher, um werbewirksam auf sich aufmerksam zu machen.
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Kommentar zu "Siri hat immer Lust - Gehört die Zukunft den Cyborgs und intelligenten Maschinen?" (UZH Magazin 2/18)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kommentar zu "Siri hat immer Lust - Gehört die Zukunft den Cyborgs und intelligenten Maschinen?" (UZH Magazin 2/18); published June 20, 2018, 19:37; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9539.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Kommentar zu "Siri hat immer Lust - Gehört die Zukunft den Cyborgs und intelligenten Maschinen?" (UZH Magazin 2/18)}}, month = {June},year = {2018}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=9539}}


Alex Roy and comparing junk with what "real men" wear [consumer products and society]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Alex Roy and comparing junk with what "real men" wear [consumer products and society]; published December 9, 2017, 18:25; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7871.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Alex Roy and comparing junk with what "real men" wear [consumer products and society]}}, month = {December},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7871}}


In one of his many videos, Alex Roy discusses style and coolness of automobiles with a TV show host. They establish that clearly, a car that transcends time in coolness and ultimate grunt has these two qualities: 

  • the most reliable in terms of motor and drivetrain, with adequate modern materials
  • the most fitting where necessary classical, conventional. established or optimized shape factor

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"Robotics"/"Cyborg"-ism and prosthetic arms - state of the art, and choice of role of prosthesis within own body image [analysis post]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - "Robotics"/"Cyborg"-ism and prosthetic arms - state of the art, and choice of role of prosthesis within own body image [analysis post]; published January 29, 2017, 17:23; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7065.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - "Robotics"/"Cyborg"-ism and prosthetic arms - state of the art, and choice of role of prosthesis within own body image [analysis post]}}, month = {January},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7065}}


Currently, "robotics" if not "bionics" and prosthetic arms are seen as a somewhat "hot topic". Even though some proponents sometimes appear to get lost in the apparent breadth of the field [link].

I am not following that research path myself too systematically (bwahaha), but I am interested in relevant aspects that fall off the truck, that are byproducts of that discussion, that may help me understand me or others better.

With "not  too systematically", I mean that I have tried and that I will try to walk new paths that have not been walked before: me introducing the Red Hand in 2009 was a first; introducing 2d cut pattern approaches to tackle 3d shape problems was not available anywhere else; wearing a semi-transparent white PVC glove to define the Becker Phantom hand, and getting Centri to make me red PVC gloves for my Becker hand was definitely another first; and me awkwardly mis-understanding the Cybathlon as an actually technical competition and as that being the only one to actually provide a technical write-up (an amputee "discussing" technical research, uiuiui!) definitely was a first (in fact we have not seen anyone else actually sitting their butt down and really telling us what, technically, we get to see there for that prosthetic arms race, which is like having a soccer match but no one understanding leave alone explaining how kicks, balls and possibly passes actually work). And, providing user driven developments for real work applications was also presented by me, in person, at that Cybathlon 2016 Symposium. Not that there were many like-minded individuals, no no.

So let us cut to the chase.

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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_1574176785, 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

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DJ Hookie [interview]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - DJ Hookie [interview]; published October 3, 2016, 00:42; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6350.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - DJ Hookie [interview]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6350}}


While we wait for the self-imposed media hype to accompany the current deep societal misunderstandings that allow for "Cybathlon" to happen - an unbearably useless and utter waste of money inasmuch as most of the presented prosthetic arms there are concerned, not just because these arms are expensive but technologically wrong for any real physical work, perpetuating history since the times of the Carnes arm - we can refresh our minds with the ideas and attitudes of down to earth and real, socially well integrated people. Like, me : )

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Normalizing prosthetic arms and media: the role of 3D printing - official statement

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Normalizing prosthetic arms and media: the role of 3D printing - official statement; published July 7, 2016, 18:59; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6226.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Normalizing prosthetic arms and media: the role of 3D printing - official statement}}, month = {July},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6226}}


It is intriguing that overly massive media pressure can bring proponents of new ideas in prosthetics to crawl back.

If, as typical in prosthetic arms since over 100 years (e.g., Carnes Arm, or, Russian Arm), "new products" are hyped up to no end, this can be a logical result: expectation and reality differences are stretched until a snap occurs.

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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_1574176785, 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 arm / hook as "human enhancement" #cyborg #realprosthetics to handle meat / grill / frying pan (what transhumanists, bioethicists and media hypes tend to miss)

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic arm / hook as "human enhancement" #cyborg #realprosthetics to handle meat / grill / frying pan (what transhumanists, bioethicists and media hypes tend to miss); published June 4, 2016, 07:58; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6135.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Prosthetic arm / hook as "human enhancement" #cyborg #realprosthetics to handle meat / grill / frying pan (what transhumanists, bioethicists and media hypes tend to miss)}}, month = {June},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6135}}


Bioethicists, prosthetists and transhumanists focus on their collective "bionic" assumptions to bundle their fears and hopes.

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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_1574176785, 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}
}

Deadpool movie quote

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Deadpool movie quote; published April 29, 2016, 23:05; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5878.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Deadpool movie quote}}, month = {April},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5878}}


Within the riddles, toings and froings of faked disability and disfigurements in cinema, there are rare highlights.

Deadpool, best movie quote.

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Being human #voightkampff - nondisabled vs. disabled people [scenarios]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Being human #voightkampff - nondisabled vs. disabled people [scenarios]; published March 2, 2016, 18:11; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5743.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574176785, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Being human #voightkampff - nondisabled vs. disabled people [scenarios]}}, month = {March},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5743}}


The mutual viewing of who of us when regarding each other is more, or less, human has a potentially big impact on societal cohesion.

Prosthetic arms today - at least inasmuch as the "bionic" arms hype is concerned - are by far a more societal than practical aspect, so these aspects play a massive role. Once even technical researchers give up honest technical work in their attempt to reach for the fame and society grapes, they start to attach themselves to a dynamic that is neither obvious nor cool. I already strongly advised arm amputees to abandon that social dynamic actively as not doing that will result in actual problems (link). But it starts smooth and nicely before escalating into what one might actually call "the Voight-Kampff chambers of hell of symbolic attribution in attempting mutual acceptance as human".

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