SBIR Phase I: PiezoElectric Actuation System for Upper Limb Prosthetics

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0741147
Agency Tracking Number: 0741147
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
115 N. Wright Brothers Dr., SALT LAKE CITY, UT, 84116
DUNS: 177661386
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Edwin Iversen
 (801) 326-3434
Business Contact
 Edwin Iversen
Title: MS
Phone: (801) 326-3434
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project develops a new technology for prosthetic arm components, using a lightweight piezoelectric actuator. A piezoelectric actuator will be developed to drive a prosthetic hand. Available arm prostheses have up to three powered degrees-of-freedom, but are sometimes considered too heavy and noisy for their disabled wearers. Lightweight and quiet piezoelectric actuators offer power-to-weight ratios that are over twice that of electromagnetic actuators, and lower the noise of the device. Furthermore, the intrinsic back-lock of a piezoelectric actuator eliminates the need for a mechanical back-lock, which maintains pinch force when the drive is stopped. The broader impacts of this research are the application of these actuators to other prosthetic components for those experiencing the loss of upper limb (a population of over 100,000 Americans). At this time, an estimated 2,000 electric prostheses are fitted each year in the U.S. alone, with equivalent numbers in Western Europe. The improvements offered with this new motor technology could increase this market greatly, making contributions to the independence and functionality of this disabled population.

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

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