||An ambitious re-development of the Utah Arm was guided by direct clinical feedback,
a list of features to improve the full-electric prostheses.
The goals of the development focused on the following:
• Smoother transition from elbow motion to hand function, and vice versa, i.e., more
locking and unlocking by the wearer, with many more locking positions.
• Quieter operation of the elbow, both during the locking and unlocking operations
can produce an audible “click” of the lock pin}, and during the powered freeswing
which produces audible motor and gear noise.
• More convenient connection of the prosthesis to the prosthetist’s or therapist’s
for adjustment and training, which required a hard-wired connection of cables.
• Wider range of input devices, as well as TDs, to take advantage of all available
and output devices.
Rather than “start over”, the technical capabilities and approach of the existing
Utah Arm fullelectric
system were used as a starting point, giving more advantages than disadvantages. Development
time is greatly shortened by taking the approach of modifying an existing component,
without the risks of using unproven designs. It is important to realize as well –
the product is
intended for clinical, rather than laboratory use, so practicality is of a very high