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Over the past few decades, innovations in myoelectric sensing in upper limb prostheses have given systems the ability to read, detect, and emulate fine motor control in an increasingly realistic manner. However, the practical impact that these scientific accomplishments yield is significantly limited by the lack of adoption witnessed by patients who are given such prosthetics. Some people see the device as a burden rather than an improvement. To address this issue, we propose the development of an improved lower arm prosthesis. This prosthesis is intended to encourage patient adoption and retention by emphasizing simplicity and comfort over technical precision. Our project has the ability to change one’s lifestyle. It’s significance can change a person’s life from living with one hand to now being able to use both. The importance to us as a group is not only to build a successful hand and learn something from it but also to make it successful, i.e. comfortable, reliable and low cost. We believe that we can positively impact an amputees life. The design of this prosthetic will be centered around: less weight, comfort, and low cost. An electromyographic (EMG) sensing system will be incorporated into our design. This system measures the electric signals emitted from the muscles of the user’s upper¬limb during attempted movement. Based on these read¬in micro¬voltages, a ZYBO Zynq¬7000 development board will be used to electrically control motors that manipulate string¬based tendons which control the hand. The comfort of the prosthesis will be optimized through the use of an adjustable elbow brace¬like attachment outfitted with breathable materials. We plan to construct a functioning hand that has an easy adaptability learning curve for the user.

Publication Date



engineering, prosthesis



Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Michael Cabral

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2015

Improved Lower-Arm Prosthesis

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Engineering Commons