Challenges And Solutions In Control Systems For Electrically Powered Articulating Digits
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The invention and clinical application of electrically powered and independently articulating digits is relatively new in the field of external upper limb prosthetics. When utilized for patients with amputations or absence at the partial hand level, these components offer the potential for a range of active functional grasping patterns that were unavailable with previous technology. Their application and examples of their use have been documented by various authors. The introduction of these systems is accompanied by the challenge of controlling them. Any electrically powered prosthetic system requires a method of concise, deliberate, and repeatable control be implemented in conjunction with focused therapy in order to be successful. Traditional control schemes of prosthetic devices for more proximal levels of absence are less straightforward when applied to an electrically powered partial hand device. Space constraints, limits of myoelectric input, the desire to maintain available residual anatomy range of motion, and complexity of potential prosthetic motion make the control of these systems particularly challenging. Integrating novel and creative systems of control with therapy will enhance the function of these systems for each user.
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