Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Lily Laiho

Abstract

Prosthetic development recently has focused mainly on myoelectrically controlled electric hands despite a majority of upper extremity amputees actively choosing body powered devices. Myoelectric hands utilize a small electric pulse generated in muscles when flexing as a signal to the hand to close. Finger flexion in these devices is controlled by electromechanical servos, requiring no strength input from the user. Body powered devices use a cable attached to a shoulder harness which causes mechanical closure of the device via tension placed on a control cable by a shoulder shrug motion or arm extension. Outfitting of active duty service personnel has recently tended to follow the electronic hands which have fragile electronics, have a poor response to user input, and are not fit for harsh outdoor environments. This report will detail the current development of a re-design of a custom left hand prosthesis for an active duty Navy SEAL and the transition from electronic controls to full body power function.

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