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Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms) [new brand name / new concept]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms) [new brand name / new concept]; published November 25, 2016, 18:45; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6505.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571461164, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms) [new brand name / new concept]}}, month = {November},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6505}}


"With the bionic hand people would be like, hey im sorry for your loss. With the hook hand people would be whispering ‘shit man, that guy probably tried to kill someone important in somalia, and got his hand ripped off by an elephant guard’. Whats cooler than that?" DOYFH on http://www.holytaco.com/drunken-argument-friday-prosthetic-hand-or-hook-hand/

  • So without further ado, I herewith offer you the new virtual online event of Extreme Cyborging.

It is not a competition, but more a creative and collaborative effort.

For any actual competition, there really needs to be an agreement on disciplines, and there must be a referee and rule observation to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, otherwise no one can hold such a competition.

But then, maybe no one should - because this is a bit of a problem: real life contains the overcoming of rules, regulations and limitations, and we want to see people going out of bounds, and beyond the regular. We all live and work differently and the variety in our use and build of prosthetic arms reflects that. They are not really comparable and that is how it should be. With that, a common thought if not event will be different from strict classification and competitive regulations.

Contents

Previous works

Or, "What niche will Extreme Cyborging" fill : )

Paralympics, regular disability sports events

Regular paralympic and similar sports events are cool and sweet and nice.

But in short, their advantage is also their disadvantage and that is, they are characterized by:

  • Focus on competition
  • Strict regulations
  • One-dimensional metric
  • No direct impact on integration
  • Strong focus on fitness

Nothing makes the merits and great aspects of competitive sports look bad. But fun on a large wide open scale that is predominantly directed to playful integration aspects, that is not a main focus.

Also, insurance and warranty rarely ever cover prosthetic arm damages that are incurred when competing at a sports event.

Abilympics

The Abilympics competition is quite a bit like what a prosthetic arm centered metrics clinic should be like also from a rehabilitation view point.

Check also:

While the ETH's Cybathlon failed to provide the revelant insight, understanding and emphasis, the Abilympics organizers very much understood what professional work integration (and the role of prosthetic arms, for example, in that context) is all about.

Having people pass through specific vocational or professional settings, several times if necessary, across a few prosthetic arm setup variations, comparing with or without prosthetic arm on, in a supportive setting and mood (not exploiting it primarily for media attention as in the Cybathlon) would be a very relevant aspect for future better prosthetic arm testing and tweaking circuses.

Insurance and warranty for prosthetic arms should by all means also cover these types of events as they are all very well within the intended use range for a given prosthetic arm.

From the Abilympics website:

Discussions and round tables

Discussions and round tables are not a side track but a main event and focus, covering such subjects in 2016 as:

  • The employment of persons with disabilities in major companies for the employment of persons with disabilities?
    • As a system, how can a company develop and build an efficient organization
    • Regarding the behavior of work collectives and individual attitudes, what are the observed factors of success and failure?
  • Training and Disability
    • How did training organizations adapt to the memorandum concerning accessibility to training, in particular regarding pedagogical adaptation to handicap diversity?
  • Excellence and performance in protected and adapted sectors.
  • The professionalization of Adapted Companies on a European scale.
  • Convention on the training of persons with disabilities.
  • Technological innovations for the benefit of persons with disabilities.
  • The socio­medical digital republic.
  • The methods of supporting persons with disabilities towards employment around the world: sharing practices.
  • How did training organizations adapt to the memorandum concerning accessibility to training, in particular regarding pedagogical adaptation to handicap diversity?

Skills

The following are skills tested at the Abilympics. This is an excellent example of what a "competitive" approach to professional work integration can be.

Services

I list all these from the Abilympics website just so you all can see what type of dedicated effort to test people according to their professional ability can - and has! - been done already.

Hairdressing
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Dress making (advanced course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Dress making (basic course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Jewelry
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Optician
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Artificial limb socket making
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Dental technician
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Tailoring
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description

ICT

Administration & management of network systems
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Poster design
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Desktop publishing
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Data processing (advanced course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Data processing (basic course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Character design
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
e-sport
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Computer assembly
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Photography outdoor
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Photography studio
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Computer programming
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Word processing
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Creating web pages
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description

Industry

Electrical connection
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
CAD industrial design
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
CAD architecture
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Electronic assembly (advanced course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Eelectronic assembly (basic course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Electrical installation
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Aircraft maintenance
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Bicycle assembly
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Motorcycle mechanics
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Mecatronics
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Welding
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description

Craft

Floral arrangement
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Embroidery
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Crochet work
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
leather goods making
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Cabinet making (advanced course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Cabinet making (basic course)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Landscape gardening (group of 2)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Painting
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Silk painting
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Pottery
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Waste reuse
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Wood carving
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Hand knitting
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Basket making
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description

Food

Cooking
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Bakery (cake)
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description
Restaurant service
  • Pre-task assigments
  • Final task assigments
  • Technical description

Cybathlon

We saw the Cybathlon 2016 in Zurich / Kloten now, with its failed academic and industrial aspirations but with its circus like cultural and medial impact. All the while, actual and effective impact was low to none: absolutely none of my friends saw it on TV or knew anything about it.

Like, not a word.

Summary of previous works

Ultimately, it all boils down to cognition.

  • Just as really driving a myoelectric "bionic" hand hard (like, by trying to bake apple cake or wash the car) and into failure (like, letting it sit to see whether that will make it last longer), then developing a really sturdy body powered arm, and applying that thing to overcome real challenges, is certainly a cognitive thing, so is troubleshooting these puppies. It all boils down to how fast you can understand constraints and limitations.
  • After all, the iLimb was built and is marketed by people that fail to understand the tension field between proudly denying commercial clients to use it for, say, hammering a nail while sending their own pilots to do just that, i.e., hammer nails, for promotional purposes, all the while CE-norms require a provider to align promotional content with the actual function of the device - so in other words, the key people that build and sell some of the "bionic" hands may not all be brain surgeons or rocket scientists, and that definitely shows.
  • While all prosthetic arms have their dedicated purpose, there is an out of bounds application too. To use a prosthetic hand to just sit there and do nothing at all may be weird but exude great coolness. To use a prosthetic hand that barely is able to lift a single paperclip for white (as: typing) or (behold!) blue collar work is certainly risky, audacious and daring.
  • And all the while prosthetic arms start out as being built for one thing, re-re-cycles of improvement and development may take them to new shores. You can only start on that journey if you start at one point. That means to leave safe shores behind.
  • Possibly an interest in that is what got you surfing here, too!?

With that, all behavior and activities, events and feats accomplished outside the accepted range of use for prosthetic arms (this is a right below elbow amputee site, case you had not noticed) are of obvious interest.

Terms: cyborging, cyborg

The term cyborg, by practical modern day media hype definition, now is widely used to discuss if not contain also these people:

  • Angel Giuffria (link, link, link, link) ("'Hunger Games' Actress Angel Giuffria Talks Life As A Cyborg" link; "Hollywood Actress Angel Giuffria Is A Real-Life “Cyborg”" link) ("What will the future look like in the eyes of those one step ahead of us? I’ve been speaking a lot lately about what I believe the future will be like, as envisioned by robotics company Humai. For a change of pace, I decided to reach out to someone else and get their take on the world of tomorrow. That someone is cyborg and bionic actress Angel Giuffria." link)
  • Bertolt Meyer ("Lange gehörten sie zur Science-Fiction, mittlerweile haben sie unsere Lebenswelt erreicht: Cyborgs - halb Menschen, halb Maschinen. Der Psychologe Bertold Meyer, selbst Träger einer Armprothese, spricht über die Zukunft des menschlichen Körpers, über ungeahnte Möglichkeiten und ethische Gefahren", link; "This week, social psychologist Bertold Meyer's been traveling around the country with a contraption that looks like a cross between a Halloween mask and Johnny Number Five. It's the subject of a new documentary by the Smithsonian Channel called The Incredible Bionic Man. Meyer makes for a great spokesman, since he was born without the lower part of his left arm and now wears a bionic prosthesis. He is, by definition, a cyborg—but only partially", link)
  • Nigel Ackland ("The World’s Most Famous Real-Life Cyborg (...) 4) Nigel Ackland", link)
  • James Young (link) ("Became 'part cyborg' in experiment fitting him with prototype bionic arm",  link)
  • Furiosa (movie character) ("Basically the character is a groovy cyborg with a diesel punk artificial arm that looks like it was made out of bits of a clapped out MG sports car", link)

If we look at these modern individuals, these modern hero pilots, that try to do their darnedest, wearing poorly developed arm chafing shoulder aching sweat disabled irritation causing massively expensive "bionic" prosthetic act-alike parts, but even with Furiosa, some steam punk is sufficient, and we look at them now with some sober secular eyes, we see nothing but good old and established myoelectric or even just mostly passive steam punked (Furiosa) arm technology (as much as one can ever call these "established", that is) which essentially plugs on and off without a scratch (only with some ooze, maybe), and with that, everyone with other good old technology or the potential to use such can do that and will thus also be a cyborg.

The actual definition of a cyborg may be more of a human that is more deeply and unseparably integrated with technology, such as implants,molecular biology type chemistry and some bad ass electronics.

frankieboy

Some implants usually do not count when we know them already as part of our own furniture - like, pacemakers, dental works, ear rings, or hip implants; these do not make for great cyborg impersonations in popular culture. So, if you have a screw somewhere in your body, or some dental works, or, ear rings to make you look pretty - no, that is not accepted as cyborg.

But as it went, the cyborg term was defined in 1960, and as real cyborgs were certainly promised to everyone to abound, like, in the then-future, which is, around now, and since we were failed by medicine and robotics as well as neurosurgery, who should have delivered us "the cyborg" by now, humanity is ready to settle for the "lesser next thing" as break entertainment, just as long as it is sufficiently prettied up to look the part.

And some (not all, oh no) arm amputees that walk around with stuff on their arm certainly look like great break entertainment. Not more, really, but we agreed to settle for less.

exmachina1

In other words, simple 'plug on and play' cyborgs rather than the expected microsurgical slaughterfest victims will do for now which means that I am cool to hijack the vocabulary for what it is: glorifying Potemkin arms, or, as we agreed to settle for less, any type of prosthesis - almost. But we need to be prettied up, because approximating cyborg life requires at least uniforms, space ship models and futuristic cell phone tones. And, of course, some Deus Ex paraphernalia.

exmachina2

Also body powered or passive prosthetic arms are totally eligible, as there is no technological or social, or epistemological reason to not include these into the same practically observed usage of the "cyborg" definition - as, again, we agreed to settle for less. We are now in that future, craving the promises we had been made for that future, and to treat that phantom pain, we give ourselves cyborgs using lesser standards. Body powered or passive arms also plug on (to the arm stump, that is), they also can be used for play (if not a lot better actually, whatever it was we were playing), and they most definitely kick butt. While no one will hesitate a moment before calling the movie character Furiosa a cyborg, that, by definition, makes all potential and actual split hook users cyborgs as well.

With that, we do enter the cyborging realm.

exmachina3

And it is quite the Hotel California: once entered, you can "always check out but you can never leave" - as there is no definition, that would bounce someone like me, a flailing cyborg, back to non-cyborg-dom, whenever I, like, just cannot wear my cyborg-defining prosthetic arm or decide to remain prosthetic free for however long that then takes.

So I will remain a cyborg even without prosthetic arm on. Then, I would pass as "cyborg, particularly inconvenienced". Such exists, however, as we all know from "cyborg life", don't we?

sourcecode

We can all be cyborging it. To "be cyborging it" (phonetics: "s'bu-gin-it") is then not a scientific term, as no existential falsification seems possible: I cannot ever be a non-cyborg, even without the prosthetic arm on. I would possibly have to abdicate it, burn it, or go to other extreme measures to de-cyborgize me.

From the angle of absent better definitions alone, we will have to agree that cyborg is a socially and not a technically used term. And that the prices for "bionic" hands are so high because of their assumed "social" value.

Disclaimer / legal notice regarding any Extreme Cyborging as described here

Do not perform any Extreme Cyborging!

  • None of the following is, of course, recommended. Not by anyone.
  • None is recommended by me, by town police or by your prosthetist.
  • None of this is likely covered by insurance, warranty or repair contracts.

We only want to hear from people that can do any of this, or, approximate it, or, dodge it, regardless of and being extremely careful due to severe precautions, being totally responsible, themselves.

 

 

Extreme Cyborging as concept

As we all remember, Extreme Ironing was the funniest and most thought provoking contest that happened in a long while. It basically answered the question "what man are you" with a question - which is the way to go about it.

extremeironing

In a cultural context, it meant to perform a restrictive activity (pressing an unruly shirt into the particular confinment of being shaped extra flat is such a restrictive activity) in a far less restricted (and differently restricted) environment.

Prosthetic arms are a very restrictive environment.

barbarianfingers

If you have never worn one, you may not understand that: but there is a distinct feeling of squeezing, of weighing down, of being restricted in a control sense and also, in a maintenance and repair sense. After all, when I cruise through my days without prosthetic arm on and my stump gets a few scratches, that one? It will heal eventually. Whereas a prosthetic arm - if not already containing planned obsolescence - will definitely require steady repairs, and a lot of maintenance.

 

Only once you give yourself in to these domains and suggestions will you see they are not a bit sarcastic. Underneath a crusty sarcastic surface you will find a soft fruit of truth.

I also tend to live life on the edge to the absurd, sarcastic, funny, stupid and silly and it makes life great to be able to do that.

That notwithstanding, however, I am fully committed to applying commonsense and hard work to design cool parts, wear and test these and work on getting these right until they work well.

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): wet spaces

Getting the prosthetic arm submerged usually is a no go for myoelectric arms and a difficult thing for body powered arms. Will they rust? Will they cause an electrical short cut?

Of course, you cannot expect this to be a good idea, like, at all.

Using a paddle on my stump always has the paddle turn lengthwise. In other words, I cannot use a paddle for swimming as there is not rotational stability. Not on my arm. So, swimming prostheses are just such a good idea but not for full push forces.

  • Going into the bath tub.
  • Diving, swimming.
  • Outdoor sports in torrential rain.
  • Using un-clean, quasi-clean or public swimming pool type clean water.

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): wearathlons

There is no upper limit on just how long a prosthetic arm can be worn, using a regular socket. We need to know, however, how you managed.

  • Can you sleep through a whole night?
  • Wear it for a whole week?
  • A whole month?
  • A year or longer?
  • Without even taking it off to check?
  • Performing extreme hot condition work?

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): micro works

How intricate, how small are activities that you manage to perform with your prosthetic arm? Clearly, we need to see this under real work conditions. We know that an iLimb cannot grab precision grips well to save its life - so spare us the staged demo hypes.

We need to see 20 or 50 precision grips in real life, which is where real prosthetic arms need to go. Not these gadget toys.

  • Can you operate and handle tweezers?
  • What about microscopic item handling?
  • Small bits and pieces?

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): lumberjack and hauling

Here, we are looking at all things plants, garden and forest as well as hauling, moving and transporting items.

  • Tree cutting
  • Wood cutting
  • Axe handling
  • Saw handling
  • Using chain saw to carve artwork

Here are some experiences I can share:

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): up and down the TRS catalog

Using all kinds of terminal devices from the TRS catalog: what all can you do with them? What are they useful for - otherwise?

  • What is the coolest non-golf use for a golf adapter?
  • What is the coolest non-skiing use for a skiing pole adapter?
  • What creative uses are there for a TRS Dragon?
  • What terminal device has the most creative uses of them all?

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): sports (generally)

Sports in any way should be investigated and documented here. I cannot anticipate what sports there all are. Here, I would say we could accept a "bionic" prosthesis once it can totally outperform some other model. Like, if someone rides up the Stelvio Pass with their myoelectric "iLimb" and still can operate the fingers, no chafing on the stump skin, despite a myoelectric socket, then we'd go, high five, let us list that documentation here!

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): fabric handling, sewing and stitching

Soft and thin structures cannot be handled just by any prosthetic device or user. We need to see fabric works and how it was done, here.

  • Curtains?
  • Clothes?
  • Teddy Bears?
  • Other stuff?

Some experiences that I wrote about so far:

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): 3D paper models

Bring them on, cut them up. Always cool, these.

Free 3D papercraft, 3D Paper Replika, you name it. Once you come up with your own first useful paper model for a prosthetic arm replacement, we will definitely want to see this.

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): performing music

Obviously, turning a few knobs for DJ-ing is cool in order to be actively making music. But playing a piano, guitar or flute using a multiarticulated hand with single finger control is far more extreme.

Extreme Cyborging: puppetry (AUA vs. WIFUCD)

For all activities one can just hint at, pretend to be able to perform, but where really using the proposed device for the proposed activity is stupid or non-sensical, the puppetry category is the right one.

Many proposed or advertised "bionic" hand activities are "puppetry" events, such as actually riding a bicycle (e.g., warranty of the iLimb does not cover accidental damages due to a fall from a bike and yet, the company definitely includes bicycle riding as part of "giving users "their" life "back""). Here, we want to collect them for entertainment.

For this, I found a new dichotomy located at the line between AUA and WIFUCD (actual usage approval AUA - well intentioned but failure under continuous deployment WIFUCD) as too many people with myoelectric arms seemed to provide photo posing with bicycles [link].

I may start by posing next to a piano with Rachmaninov sheet music up and some gutsy subtitles there.

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): intimacy

The ultimate barrier for prosthetic arm usage is intimacy. What can be said about experiences there?

A friend of mine who worked in a prestigious prosthetic hand research project at a University now works with a company trying to build a robotic wanking robot.

No kidding.

And they did not quite work it out yet.

But who can jerk off faster using a prosthetic hand - given the actually complex mechanical aspects of the act - might be the next ultimate bench mark in robotics in a field that has the potential to actually sell for real money.

Here, I can vividly imagine that otherwise too fragile "bionic" hands take over the market rapidly if - and that is a big if - Touch Bionics (after all they call themselves "touch" bionics, ever thought of what all "touch" could mean?) finally breaks down to open the market to other "approved" gloves. Like, padded gloves. After all, having a chafed stump after wearing the "bionic" arm is one thing, but using it intimately and having chafed private parts certainly won't stand (ups).

Also, this is of rather high market relevance, far higher, than, say, "vacuum cleaning prosthetic hands" or "dish washing prosthetic hands" for arm amputees.

Both for the disabled and non-disabled, sexual pleasure devices - both for men and women - have so far not been found in any prosthetic component manufacturer. With that, they communicate to us also that, no, an amputee will not have that interest, not after losing a limb, no, not any more.

But industry and market wise there is absolutely no way around it. After all, also modems, broadband web access, color screens and large harddisks only started to become a lot cheaper once online porn became wide spread.

From Slashdot (link): "Wouldn't you spend the next 72 hours masturbating?" - "Isn't it more interesting when you can't feel the sensation in your hand as well (usually by sitting on your hand for awhile first to put it to sleep)? I believe they call it "the stranger"."

Bwahaha. "The stranger".

Try to see this through eyes of a secular adult, if you can. I mean, I know you can't. But try as if you could.

Then you understand maybe why this is of epic business proportions. And you read that here first.

Extreme Cyborging (prosthetic arms): off limits and no prosthetic arm on

Cyborgs that are off limits totally, or without prosthetic arm on, would classify as "Cyborg, undone" or "Cyborg, particularly inconvenienced" if not "Cyborg Authentic".

 

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