Biofidelic design of the forearm of a myoelectric prosthesis with maximum functional volume

DS 87-1 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 1: Resource Sensitive Design, Design Research Applications and Case Studies, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Ramananarivo, Mathieu; Raison, Maxime; Barron, Olivier; Achiche, Sofiane
Series: ICED
Institution: École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada
Section: Resource Sensitive Design, Design Research Applications and Case Studies
Page(s): 479-488
ISBN: 978-1-904670-89-6
ISSN: 2220-4342


The congenital or traumatic amputation of upper limbs leads to strong mobility and socio-psychological disabilities. The amputees can choose between three types of prostheses: cosmetic, body-powered and myoelectric. The myoelectric prostheses are controlled via electromyographic activity, they provide control over more degrees of freedom. The development of myoelectric prostheses is largely influenced by breakthroughs in robotics, sensors and machine learning technologies. As a consequence, the development of upper-limb prostheses is mainly technology driven without taking into account the low user acceptance. To improve the biofidelity of existing prostheses, a biomimetic approach has been explored by the work presented here. In this paper we propose an alternative biofidelic mechanism developed to be used in an operational prosthesis. The main results are the production of a mechanism optimized to reproduce with a low and controlled error of the pronation-supination movement while using a single actuator. The mechanism solid shapes are designed to be usable in an operational prosthesis.

Keywords: Biomedical design, Bio-inspired design / biomimetics, 3D printing, Design to X, Protheses


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