SBIR Phase I: A compact electrotactile sensory feedback system for upper limb prostheses

SBIR Phase I: A compact electrotactile sensory feedback system for upper limb prostheses

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1843966
Agency Tracking Number: 1843966
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2019
Solicitation Year: 2018
Solicitation Topic Code: SH
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
60 Hazelwood Dr, Champaign, IL, 61820
DUNS: 080074632
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Aadeel Akhtar
 (773) 888-3252
 aakhtar@psyonic.co
Business Contact
 Aadeel Akhtar
Phone: (773) 888-3252
Email: aakhtar@psyonic.co
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will primarily benefit people with hand amputations. Touch feedback is a critical component of human manipulation, and its loss is most poignant in people with hand amputations. There are currently no prosthetic devices available to amputees that provide control through touch sensory feedback. Without touch feedback, prosthetic users tend to avoid manipulating many objects they otherwise could because they run the risk of destroying them. Consequently, there is a market need for a richly expressive sensory feedback system for upper limb prosthetics. The proposed research will yield a device capable of such feedback with electrotactile stimulation. These outcomes have the potential to restore a significant amount of function to over 10 million people with hand amputations worldwide and improve their quality of life. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project involves development of a portable, energy-efficient electrotactile stimulator that can be easily placed into the sockets of hand prosthetics to give users useful sensory feedback. The stimulator will integrate with existing prosthetic control systems. It will be built using standard off-the-shelf components, have a form factor small enough to easily fit into a variety of different prosthetic sockets, and operate for at least 12 hours while operating alongside a prosthetic hand and its control system. To improve sensation quality, a sensation controller that enables consistent long-term stimulation will be deployed, reducing the likelihood of device rejection due to discomfort. The expected outcomes of this research are 1) a portable, cost effective and energy efficient electrotactile stimulator that can be easily placed into the socket of a prosthetic user and integrated with their prosthetic hand; and 2) a user study which evaluates the effectiveness of this device deployed with a sensation controller for daily manipulation tasks. The capabilities of the Phase I prototype will be extended in Phase II for delivery of a market-ready sensory feedback system that is compliant with regulatory standards for medical equipment. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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