SBIR Phase I: Advanced Prosthetic Hand

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0419980
Agency Tracking Number: 0419980
Amount: $99,843.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
625 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Townsend
 (617) 252-9000
Business Contact
 David Wilkinson
Phone: (617) 252-9000
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will develop a conceptual design for a context-based reflex-controlled prosthetic hand. This work would set the stage for full development of a dexterous prosthetic hand in which the reflexive hand motor control would be implemented locally on the prosthetic based on a suite of sensors, including pose, proximity, finger-torque, and myo-electric sensors. This would free the user to focus on higher-level functional control in a natural and intuitive way. The research objectives of this project are (1) to select optimal kinematics, trading off dexterity with cost, weight, and durability, (2) to develop the reflex control algorithm, and (3) to propose a complete conceptual design that can be further developed and tested in Phase II. The commercial application of this project will be in the area of prosthetics for use by people with upper limb amputation and congenital birth defects. Development of a prosthetic hand promises to improve the quality and normalcy of life for the roughly 10,000 patients of upper-limb amputation annually in the United States alone as well as the thousands more suffering from congenital birth defects that leave the person without a hand. The international community will likewise benefit as well.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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