Volume 48 Number 6, 2011
Pages 661 — 668
Abstract — We explored a new method for simple and accurate control of shoulder movement for externally powered shoulder disarticulation prostheses with a two-axis joystick. We tested 10 subjects with intact shoulders and arms to determine the average amount of shoulder motion and force available to control an electronic input device. We then applied this information to two different input strategies to examine their effectiveness: (1) a traditional rocker potentiometer and a pair of force-sensing resistors and (2) a two-axis joystick. Three nondisabled subjects and two subjects with shoulder disarticulation amputations attempted to control an experimental externally powered shoulder using both control strategies. Two powered arms were tested, one with powered flexion/extension and humeral rotation and one with powered flexion/extension and adduction/abduction. Overwhelmingly, the subjects preferred the joystick control, because it was more intuitively linked with their shoulder movement. Additionally, two motions (one in each axis) could be controlled simultaneously. This pilot study provides valuable insight into an effective means of controlling high-level, externally powered prostheses with a two-axis joystick.
Key words: control strategies, externally powered prosthesis, force-sensing resistor, joystick, proportional control, proprioception, rocker potentiometer, shoulder disarticulation, shoulder excursion, upper-limb amputation.
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, August 3, 2011 10:50 AM