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Wireless wearable controller for upper-limb neuroprosthesis

Christa A. Wheeler, MS; P. Hunter Peckham, PhD

Figure. (a) Schematic illustrating implementation of external controller that communicates wirelessly with implanted hand-grasp neuroprosthesis.(b) Suggested wrist-controller design illustrating wearable size and no physical connection across joint.

When spinal cord injury occurs, the connection between the brain and the muscles is lost. If this injury occurs at the cervical level of the spine, it can cause loss of the ability to move the hands, leading to obvious challenges in performing normal daily activities, like eating and grooming. The technology discussed in this article uses electrical stimulation of the muscles in the forearm to form a functional hand grasp. Specifically, it describes a new method for controlling when the hand opens and closes by using a sensor that is worn like a wristwatch and detects wrist movement.

Volume 46 Number 2, 2009
   Pages 243 — 256

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