Joint angle transform based methodology for controlling upper limb prostheses

Period of Performance: 09/01/2017 - 08/31/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Infinite Biomedical Technologies, LLC
Baltimore, MD 21218
Principal Investigator


Care of upper limb amputees is a great example of personalized medicine. Prosthetists and occupational therapists work with patients to identify their needs, and then to create a highly individualized solution using a variety of components and technologies. The key to improving care in this underserved patient population is to provide better components which can be used by prosthetists to create the best possible clinical solution for each patient. One of the most exciting developments in the field relates to the mechatronic advances which have enabled the creation of dexterous terminal devices, wrist rotators and powered elbows. However, their clinical impact has been limited by a lack of effective myoelectric control strategies. If this was available, amputees would be in a much better position to accomplish complex tasks of daily living, working, and playing. Thus, we propose the development of a novel control strategy based on a joint angle transform algorithm, which we call the Glide Controller. It promises to offer a much needed option for intuitive myoelectric control. The Glide Controller will: 1) empower amputees by providing greater control over their prosthesis; 2) be compatible with traditional 2-site EMG prosthetic systems; 3) eventually be compatible with advanced 8-site systems as they become available; and 4) work with components from other manufacturers, such as mechatronic elbows, wrist rotators, and terminal devices. In this Fast Track effort, we propose: 1) the development and verification of the Glide Controller, 2) the thirdparty verification and validation of the system; and 3) evaluation of the Glide Controller in a clinical study of transradial amputees. It is our long-term goal to provide a suite of interoperable hardware and software technologies to provide prosthetists and their patients with options they can use to best serve the highly individual needs of each patient. We believe that the Glide Controller will be a great addition to the prosthetist toolset and will enable independent living, work productivity, and overall enjoyment of life.