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SBIR Phase I: Development and Evaluation of a Robust, Compliant, Sensorized Prosthetic Hand
Phone: (773) 888-3252
Phone: (773) 888-3252
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will primarily benefit the 11.4 million people with hand amputations worldwide. By making and selling a prosthetic hand at a price lower than competing devices, the proposed prosthetic hand is expected to be more affordable for people with upper limb amputations. Increasing robustness by incorporating compliant materials should allow patients to use their hands longer without worry of damage. By incorporating pressure sensors, the team expects to enable patients to precisely manipulate many different types of objects. Two former war veterans with amputations have already been enabled with early versions of the proposed technology. Through the low cost of the device and the advanced features unique to the hand, the goal of this project is to help the millions of hand amputees worldwide to regain independence and confidence in their lives through innovative prosthetic devices. The proposed project involves development and evaluation of an affordable, robust myoelectric prosthetic hand that provides natural, compliant grasps with pressure feedback to users. Making the hand compliant will require the use of soft, compliant materials not used in currently available commercial prosthetic devices. The design and materials used in the hand must be robust enough to last at least two years of daily usage. Finally, sensorizing the hand will require placing pressure sensors and electronics in the fingers that also need to withstand impacts. Feasibility will be established through the performance of each design iteration in accelerated life tests (150,000 flex/extend cycles) and human subject experiments (performance after activities of daily living and motor control tasks). The capabilities of the Phase I prototype will be extended in Phase II for delivery of a complete myoelectric prosthetic hand system that is ready for clinicians to use with patients.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *