Myoelectric prostheses sales are currently pushed by Otto Bock and many prosthetic technicians, their development is pushed by Otto Bock, DARPA and TouchBionics or others (check the RAPHAEL hand)- yet they are relatively slow and relatively unreliable, relatively loud and relatively heavy, and they are absolutely expensive if they are available at all. I also found that a typical myoelectric arm can be very uncomfortable, painful and cumbersome to wear. So there seems to be a lot of hysteria around this exciting looking science fiction - yet development cannot go in the right direction if acted out by people that lack insight.
Both myoelectric and body powered design ideas are very old. They both originate over 50 years back. Don't fool yourself - even if you get an electric arm, it will look like a prosthesis. You will be stigmatized no matter what.
- Otto Bock delivers their mechanical prostheses with fast ripping nylon cables, fast ripping hook connectors, fast dirtying cable sheaths and rapidly smelly harness sheaths (all of which can be replaced and hook technology improved to render the technology functional). I personally view that as an incentive to not wear body powered arms - yet once one changes the problematic design choices they seem to have made, that moment a body powered arm starts to feel better.
- Dr. Geoffrey Ling, Army colonel and neurologist, leader of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics program recently stated on a CBS 60 minutes program: "There's a hook, something out of Peter Pan. And that's just unacceptable." - That is a statement that is a clearly offense as the hook wearer is once more linked to a fictional villain, and that statement is also undeniably wrong - since if there is anything unacceptable, it is to sink 100 million US$ into myoelectrics if they could have used just 90 million US$ - and spent 10 million US$ do improve cable controlled prosthetics. But if the US administration let such uninformed protagonists act out their ignorance, no wonder they cannot get upper extremity prosthetics right. Then, the disabled community has to clean up after these people yet again.
And now into the pits.
Here's a moderately slow view on manipulating objects with a hook. If you end up believing that to be out of a Peter Pan movie, you will definitely need professional help.
Here's a view on kitchen work - and if you can do that with a myoelectric arm for the price that my arm sells, you probably are Peter Pan:
You just saw 2009 technology of body powered prosthetic material as built and modified by Balgrist Tec, by me, by me and some friends and by Otto Bock. Total cost is under 7'000 USD for the full setup including also a hand that is equipped with some good looks.