About the lab
Deep Learning, AI/ML, Robotics, Prosthetics, Games and Learning
Featured projects (5)
Featured research (3)
Numerous assistive devices possess complex ways to operate and interact with the subjects, influencing patients to shed them from their activities of daily living. With the purpose of presenting a better solution to mitigate issues generated by complex or expensive alternatives, a test comparing different user-prosthesis interfaces was elaborated to determine the effects of diverse aspects in their user-friendliness, including that of a version created for this work. A simplistic, anthropomorphic and 3D-printed upper-limb prosthesis was adapted to evaluate all the renditions considered. The chosen design facilitates the modification of its operational mode, facilitating running the tests. Additionally, the selected prosthetic device can easily be adapted to the amputees’ lifestyle in a successful way, as shown by experimental results, providing validity to the study. For the interaction process, a wireless third party device was elected to gather the user intent and, in some renditions, to work in tandem with some sort of visual feedback or with a multimodal alternative to verify their impact on the user.
The strict development processes of commercial upper-limb prostheses and the complexity of research projects required for their development makes them expensive for end users, both in terms of acquisition and maintenance. Moreover, many of them possess complex ways to operate and interact with the subjects, influencing patients to not favor these devices and shed them from their activities of daily living. The advent of 3D printers allows for distributed open-source research projects that follow new design principles; these consider simplicity without neglecting performance in terms of grasping capabilities, power consumption and controllability. In this work, a simple, yet functional design based on 3D printing is proposed, with the aim to reduce costs and manufacturing time. The operation process consists in interpreting the user intent with electromyography electrodes, while providing visual feedback through a μLCD screen. Its modular, parametric and self-contained design is intended to aid people with different transradial amputation levels, despite of the socket’s constitution. This approach allows for easy updates of the system and demands a low cognitive effort from the user, satisfying a trade-off between functionality and low cost. It also grants an easy customization of the amount and selection of available actions, as well as the sensors used for gathering the user intent, permitting alterations to fit the patients’ unique needs. Furthermore, experimental results showed an apt mechanical performance when interacting with everyday life objects, in addition to a highly accurate and responsive controller; this also applies for the user-prosthesis interface.