The purpose of this research was to identify limitations people with arm amputations face completing daily living tasks and to design a new prosthesis which alleviates these deficiencies. State of the art prosthetic devices can mimic many of the motions of an intact limb but are controlled by a limited number of signals from the muscles in the residual limb. The majority of current research is focused on improving the control of these devices by increasing the number of inputs or using software to interpret the limited inputs in a more meaningful way. This research instead determined that the mechanics of the prosthesis could be simplified while maintaining functionality and a simple control system. Specifically, this research tested the hypothesis that the three degrees of freedom in the wrist (flexion-extension, radial-ulnar deviation, and rotation), could be combined into a single degree of freedom, known as the Dart Thrower’s Motion, in a way that preserves most of the wrist’s motion and functionality and could be controlled with a simple input method. There are currently no commercially available wrist flexion devices which utilize this motion. The studies presented in this dissertation surveyed people with upper limb amputations and found that they are less satisfied performing tasks that utilize the Dart Thrower’s Motion with their prosthesis. The major angle of the Dart Thrower’s Motion was identified in able-bodied individuals to be 22 degrees offset from the anatomical flexion-extension plane. Finally, a new prosthetic wrist device was developed based on this angle. This new prosthesis improved functionality over a traditional flexion wrist and was no more difficult to use than a device without a wrist. This research helps to alleviate many of the barriers to inclusion which people living with upper limb deficiency regularly face.
|Advisor:||Weir, Richard F. ff, Bodine, Cathy|
|Commitee:||Carollo, James J., Hunter, Kendall S., Sullivan, William|
|School:||University of Colorado at Denver|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biomedical engineering, Biomechanics|
|Keywords:||Dart thrower's motion, Prosthetic arm, Prosthetics, Wrist|
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