Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 5, 2014
   Pages 711 — 726

Abstract — Design and evaluation of prosthetic shoulder controller

Joseph E. Barton, PhD;1* John D. Sorkin, MD, PhD2

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; 2Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Baltimore Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

Abstract — We developed a 2-degree-of-freedom (DOF) shoulder position transducer (sensing shoulder protraction-retraction and elevation-depression) that can be used to control two of a powered prosthetic humerus’ DOFs. We also developed an evaluation protocol based on Fitts’ law to assess the performance of our device. The primary motivation for this work was to support development of powered prosthetic shoulder joints of a new generation of prosthetic arms for people with shoulder disarticulation and very high-level transhumeral amputation. We found that transducers that provided resistance to shoulder movement performed better than those providing no resistance. We also found that a position control scheme, where effector position is proportional to shoulder position, performed better than a velocity control scheme, where effector velocity is proportional to shoulder position. More generally, our transducer can be used to control motion along any two DOFs. It can also be used in a more general 4-DOF control scheme by sequentially controlling two DOFs at a time. The evaluation protocol has general applicability for researchers and practitioners. Researchers can employ it to compare different prosthesis designs and control schemes, while practitioners may find the evaluation protocol useful in evaluating and training people with amputation in the use of prostheses.

Key words: amputation, Fitts’ law, index of difficulty, linear mixed-effects model, position control, prosthetic arm, prosthetic arm control, resistive feedback, shoulder range of motion, velocity control.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.5

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Barton JE, Sorkin JD. Design and evaluation of prosthetic shoulder controller. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(5): 711–26.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.05.0120
ResearcherID/ORCID: Joseph E. Barton, PhD: G-6399-2014; John D. Sorkin, MD, PhD: C-1743-2013
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