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Category: Artwork and Do It yourself Corner

Large 3D hand to clip on TRS prehensor [prosthetic testing]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Large 3D hand to clip on TRS prehensor [prosthetic testing]; published February 12, 2017, 17:15; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7210.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Large 3D hand to clip on TRS prehensor [prosthetic testing]}}, month = {February},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7210}}


As always, it is the big things that count. Or, is it ; )

Looking back, Extreme Ironing did not get popular by having folks iron shirts in their gardens, cellars, living room or maybe kitchen. It got popular because, hey, wild!

Same with prosthetic hands.

You may want to think outside the box. One of the things I never understood was why people made the "split hook" / "hand" concept a dichotomy.

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Guitar pick holder for Hosmer 5 hook /Dunlop TORTEX picks [3d printed solution]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Guitar pick holder for Hosmer 5 hook /Dunlop TORTEX picks [3d printed solution]; published February 11, 2017, 00:08; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7189.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Guitar pick holder for Hosmer 5 hook /Dunlop TORTEX picks [3d printed solution]}}, month = {February},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7189}}


I was searching for a practical way to get back to playing guitar with a pick for quite a while. I knew what I wanted - I just had to make it happen.

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Bowden cable mount for prosthetic arm [patent, explained]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bowden cable mount for prosthetic arm [patent, explained]; published February 3, 2017, 14:30; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7172.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Bowden cable mount for prosthetic arm [patent, explained]}}, month = {February},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7172}}


Explaining Swiss patent CH 703 982 B1 (PDF also here).

The motivation for this patent was to avoid frequent cable tears, cable rips or cable damage when using metal cables such as the ones used for gear or brake control on bicycles.

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Hosmer Mod. 5 hook clip for cell phone cover fixation [3D printed solution]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Hosmer Mod. 5 hook clip for cell phone cover fixation [3D printed solution]; published January 21, 2017, 14:34; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7111.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Hosmer Mod. 5 hook clip for cell phone cover fixation [3D printed solution]}}, month = {January},year = {2017}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7111}}


Since I like to browse on my mobile phone when lying on the back on my sofa, I figured why not make a 3D thingy to allow me to do just that.

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Trautmann hook [3D printed steel parts, assembly, first use]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Trautmann hook [3D printed steel parts, assembly, first use]; published December 28, 2016, 17:53; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7037.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Trautmann hook [3D printed steel parts, assembly, first use]}}, month = {December},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=7037}}


First, I had performed a feasibility test using a PLA model that I had printed myself to see whether I really wanted a Trautman hook. After that, I had decided that I wanted one.

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Freebasing 3D shapes: wine glass holder [way to go]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Freebasing 3D shapes: wine glass holder [way to go]; published November 29, 2016, 06:09; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6926.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Freebasing 3D shapes: wine glass holder [way to go]}}, month = {November},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6926}}


While the "bionic" hands are the current darlings of the hypsters, the hooks are the darlings of real people, i.e., those that actually work [definitions here / tongue in cheek / GOH DTE type stuff].

And with that, the real avenue for home improvement are the hooks.

That is where it's at, that is where the future lies, that is where the bear steps (hier steppt der Bär), that is where the pope boxes wearing a chain armour (da boxt der Papst im Kettenhemd).

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Trautman Hook (3d printed PLA, first bench test) [design]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Trautman Hook (3d printed PLA, first bench test) [design]; published November 26, 2016, 11:17; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6879.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Trautman Hook (3d printed PLA, first bench test) [design]}}, month = {November},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6879}}


From the idea of Open Prosthetics, I took the Trautman Hook stls (also published on Thingiverse [link][link]) and printed them using PLA on a Makerbot Replicator. Then I put them together and tried them out.

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TRS Prehensor [grip surface tweaking]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - TRS Prehensor [grip surface tweaking]; published October 16, 2016, 10:58; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6722.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - TRS Prehensor [grip surface tweaking]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6722}}


The TRS Prehensor [manufacturer> TRS] is a great gripper, and recently smoked all myoelectric competition (at a prosthetic arm side by side race at the "Cybathlon", a public Circus event that the NCCR Robotics held for reasons that so far are not entirely understood at least from a prosthetic hand/arm user view).

A week has gone by since then, and still no public statement of the NCCR robotics organizers as to why body powered arm technology performed so much better than they anticipated, and worse, still no cogent clever research program drafted to successfully address prosthetic arm issues. Not a single tweet by Professor Riener and his team containing #cybathlon and #trsprehensor - so, in all sports and fairness, we are probably done with assuming this was all about sports. It wasn't, and the communications very clearly show that.

The biggest issue at this moment for robotic researchers now may probably be: why is this possible? What happened? Can we lay down the reasons for that? Because keeping on missing out on any deeper understanding there will likely cause similar problems in the future - and we do not want that again, do we. There are deeply intriguing answers to these pressing questions. It is just that who has time to wait for these people! What takes them so long!

"I waited for 30 years for robot engineers to build me a prosthetic arm so I could finally clean up my house. It became a real mess during all these years. Three decades is a long time, you know." - Anonymous

No peace for the wicked.

And so to clean up the house today, I used the TRS Prehensor. I massively intensified using it for many tasks since then. Now, I always like to use these opportunities to troubleshoot grips and see where I go with the result.

Wowoweewa!

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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_1571793724, 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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#userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - #userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]; published October 2, 2016, 13:05; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6342.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - #userdrivendesign Prosthetic arm design: i-Limb Revolution versus customized body powered arm in a work environment combining bodily exertion, wide temperature ranges, wide body motion ranges, heavy workload and subtle grips [Cybathlon Symposium, Oct 6 2016, Poster A12]}}, month = {October},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6342}}


PDF of poster presentation @ Cybathlon Symposium Oct 06 2016 @ Kloten.

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What if Hugh Herr built prosthetic arms [development cycles, how to get better with engineering]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What if Hugh Herr built prosthetic arms [development cycles, how to get better with engineering]; published June 5, 2016, 23:31; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6156.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - What if Hugh Herr built prosthetic arms [development cycles, how to get better with engineering]}}, month = {June},year = {2016}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=6156}}


The absolutely relevant key aspect about Hugh Herr is that a brilliant inventor and at the same time very demanding user can iterate the development cycles very fast and very well, whereas other projects not even make it to taking actual / real users into the close loop of development.

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How to cut 3D origami using a prosthetic arm [1:1]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to cut 3D origami using a prosthetic arm [1:1]; published October 24, 2015, 21:40; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5553.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - How to cut 3D origami using a prosthetic arm [1:1]}}, month = {October},year = {2015}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=5553}}


So the cold time of the year approaches here.

Obviously there is this book called "Horrorgami". Obviously I had to get it.

Paper Dandy's Horrorgami: 20 Gruesome Scenes to Cut and Fold

And of all patterns contained in it, I had to start making the "Werewolf" pattern.

alaindelonsmokes

Go figure.

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Visualizing a Broken Body - Cyborg art implications for visual and functional prosthetic design [art, cultural reflection]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Visualizing a Broken Body - Cyborg art implications for visual and functional prosthetic design [art, cultural reflection]; published July 10, 2015, 19:30; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4880.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1571793724, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Visualizing a Broken Body - Cyborg art implications for visual and functional prosthetic design [art, cultural reflection]}}, month = {July},year = {2015}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=4880}}


Introduction

It has been remarked by individuals that believe of themselves to be quite observant - such as - that a prosthetic hook is, culturally, referencing "Captain Hook", such as Geoffrey Ling, and although we cannot think greatly of people that spit on established, proven and functioning prosthetic devices, we can try to see where they come from. What they do is look at popular culture to shape their unreflected but acid critique.

chook

Their problem is only, that they do not keep looking at popular culture. They just go half way to name Captain Hook (if they go that far at all) in talking bad about hook devices, when really they do not consider popular culture all the way. If at all, they should do that with heart and with focus. How can I believe any researchers that talks down to me, as a hook user, by referring to terms such as "arcane" and "Captain Hook", when they are culturally unaware? Because when they are sloppy with their pop culture, what tells me they are not totally sloppy with their "technical" work? Alright, one glance at the edgy iLimb hand and torn up gloves and we know that answer. After all, if one is to look at pop culture, it is not just about extending research programs for preconceived ideas that end up without accessible devices on a small market, is it. It is not just about trying to sell "bionic" hands that may be just about as useful as a bugger in the nose (but cost more). It is about actually trying to understand what that popular culture can tell us were one to go that way, all the way.

And Captain Hook is the earliest pop culture "cyborg" in that he, in some way, integrates human body and technology under a new umbrella identity, that of "Captain Hook". As a famous tweet proposed: if he was given a prosthetic hand, he'd be "Captain Hand". Would have been quite a game changer, that.

Analysis of popular culture imagery and their significance for amputees

The way a damaged body is visualized both when in despair, when suffering damage or disintegration or loss, and when it is at ease, repaired, is present throughout our cultures.

So we can not only look at what the non-disabled public believes in when portraying damage or loss. We can also have a close look at visual elements of recovered, re-established people, and here, people that are "bound" to repair type technology.

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