Powered Upper-Limb Prostheses

The Vanderbilt Multigrasp Hand

Recent advances in robotics technology are now enabling the development of multigrasp prosthetic hands that have the capability of offering biomechanically useful levels of force and speed. Specifically, advances in power supplies (e.g., lithium-ion batteries), actuation (e.g., rare-earth magnet brushless motors), microelectronics (e.g., low power microcontrollers and surface mount power electronics), and fabrication methods (e.g., additive manufacturing approaches) have all ushered in this new generation of multigrasp devices.

With the ability to provide multiple grasps and gestures, such hands offer the promise of enhancing the dexterity and functional capability of prosthetic hand technology. This said, effective use of a multigrasp hand prosthesis requires a control interface that enables the user to access the multifunctional capability of the hand in a natural and efficient manner. Specifically, the user interface should enable access to multiple grasp postures in an intuitive manner with a negligible latency, and offer continuous, proportional control of motion.

The Vanderbilt Multigrasp (VMG) Hand leverages the aforementioned technological advances with novel control methodologies in an effort to attain this goal. A control method referred to as Multigrasp Myoelectric Control (MMC) has been developed to provide effective control of a multigrasp prosthetic hand and facilitate the performance of the activities of daily living.

Powered Elbow and Wrist

Traditional multi-joint prosthetic devices are generally controlled using a “sequential” controller, meaning they rely on two surface EMG signals to send a flex or extend signal to each joint, and use a co-contraction signal to sequentially switch between active joints. This method is slow and unintuitive for amputees, and makes it impossible to use the joints in a coordinated way. To address this issue, we have developed a powered elbow and wrist rotator to be used in conjunction with a new inertial measurement unit (IMU) based controller. Rather than rely on muscle signals from the residual limb to control multiple joints, our system couples the motion of the artificial joints to the motion of the user’s residual limb by using information from the accelerometers and gyroscopes of an IMU attached to the socket. With different motion cues assigned to the elbow and wrist, and reserving EMG signals for control of the hand, this novel controller will allow amputees to perform simultaneous, coordinated movements between their intact and artificial joints, something which has been impossible with commercial prosthetics to date.

Media

Vanderbilt Multigrasp Hand Prosthesis Overview Poster

Vanderbilt Multigrasp Hand Prosthesis Poster

Basic Hand Motions

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This video demonstrates the capabilities of the Vanderbilt Multigrasp Hand. It demonstrates how each of the 4 motors (degrees of actuation) contribute to the motion and coordination of the hand.

Motions of the Vanderbilt Transhumeral Prosthesis

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This video demonstrates the basic motions of the Vanderbilt Transhumeral Prosthesis, which includes a powered elbow, powered wrist rotator, and the Vanderbilt Multigrasp Hand.

Multigrasp Myoelectric Controller (MMC)

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This video demonstrates the function of the MMC, a novel controller that uses two emg signals and an input driven finite state machine to quickly and intuitively access the full function of a multigrasp prosthetic hand.

SHAP Assessment

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This video shows a transradial amputee subject performing the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure, which is used to assess the performance of a hand prosthesis. The test consists of first manipulating a series of abstract objects, followed by several simulated tasks of daily living.

Publications

  • A Multigrasp Hand Prosthesis for Providing Precision and Conformal Grasps, D. A. Bennett, S. A. Dalley, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics, 2014, Pending Publication. IEEE Xplore

  • Functional Assessment of the Vanderbilt Multigrasp Myoelectric Hand: A Continuing Case Study, S. A. Dalley, D. A. Bennett, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014, pp. 6195-6198. IEEE Xplore

  • Functional Assessment of a Multigrasp Myoelectric Prosthesis: An Amputee Case Study, S. A. Dalley, D. A. Bennett, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2013, pp. 2640-2644. IEEE Xplore

  • Multigrasp Hand Prosthesis and Myoelectric Control Method for Enhancing the Functional Capability of Upper Extremity Amputees, S. A. Dalley, D. A. Bennett, N. A. Alshammary, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE LifeSciences Newsletter, November 2012. IEEE Life Sciences

  • Preliminary Functional Assessment of a Multigrasp Myoelectric Prosthesis, S. A. Dalley, D. A. Bennett, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2012, pp. 4172-4175. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Hand Prosthesis with Precision and Conformal Grasp Capability, D. A. Bennett, S. A. Dalley, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2012, pp. 3044-3047. IEEE Xplore

  • Assessment of a multigrasp myoelectric control approach for use by transhumeral amputees, N. A. Alshammary, S. A. Dalley, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2012, pp. 968-971. IEEE Xplore

  • A Method for the Control of Multigrasp Myoelectric Prosthetic Hands, S. A. Dalley, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, vol. 20, pp. 58-67, 2012. IEEE Xplore

  • Continuous Position and Force Control of a Multigrasp Myoelectric Transradial Prosthesis, S. A. Dalley, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, Myoelectric Controls/Powered Prosthetics Symposium (MEC), Fredericton, Canada, 2011, pp. 1-4. duke.edu [PDF]

  • Design of a Multigrasp Transradial Prosthesis, T. Wiste, S. A. Dalley, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, ASME Journal of Medical Devices, vol. 5, pp. 1-7, 2011. ASME Digital Collection

  • Multigrasp Myoelectric Control for a Transradial Prosthesis, S. A. Dalley, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitiation Robotics, Zurich, Switzerland, 2011, pp. 1-6. IEEE Xplore

  • A Multigrasp Hand Prosthesis for Transradial Amputees S. A. Dalley, T. E. Wiste, H. A. Varol, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010, pp. 5062-5065. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Multifunctional Anthropomorphic Prosthetic Hand With Extrinsic Actuation, S. A. Dalley, T. E. Wiste, T. J. Withrow, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol. 14, pp. 699-706, 2009. IEEE Xplore

  • Design of a Multifunctional Anthropomorphic Prosthetic Hand with Extrinsic Actuation, T. E. Wiste, S A.. Dalley, T. J. Withrow, and M. Goldfarb, IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, Kyoto, Japan, 2009, pp. 675-681. IEEE Xplore