Volume 52 Number 1, 2015
Pages 63 — 76
Abstract — Body-powered prostheses use a cable-operated system to generate forces and move prosthetic joints. However, this control system can only generate forces in one direction, so current body-powered prehensor designs allow the user either to voluntarily open or voluntarily close the tongs. Both voluntary opening (VO) and voluntary closing (VC) modes of operation have advantages for certain tasks, and many end-users desire a terminal device (TD) that can switch between the two modes. However, such a TD must maintain the same thumb position (i.e., point of Bowden cable attachment) and movement direction in both modes in order to avoid the need to readjust the harness after every mode switch. In this study, we demonstrate a simple design that fulfills these requirements while allowing the user to switch easily between modes. We describe the design concept, describe a rugged split-hook prototype, provide specifications (size, weight, efficiency, etc.), and present a pilot study in which five subjects with intact arms and two subjects with amputation used the VO and VC split-hook prehensor to perform the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure. Subjects performed an average of 4 to 7 (+/??? 0.2) points better when they could choose to switch between modes on a task-by-task basis than when they were constrained to using only VO or VC modes.
Key words: amputation, artificial limb, body-powered prosthesis, grasp, outcomes assessment, prehensor, prosthesis design, terminal device, voluntary closing, voluntary opening.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2015 10:52 AM