A team of young scientists from the Warsaw University of Technology has developed a modular hand prosthesis, in which only certain components will require replacement as the child grows, according to the university. Thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology, the strength and type of grip can be customized to meet the individual needs of each child.
The idea was initiated in Ewelina Drelich’s diploma thesis. During the Tech-Athon event, a six-person team worked on the solution, including Krzysztof Popielski, Katarzyna Matys-Popielska, Vo Thi Hoang Ni, Filip Włodarczyk, and Jan Tracz. The project is under the supervision of Dr. Anna Sibilska-Mroziewicz. The project received recognition during Tech-Athon, a marathon of work on technologically advanced solutions with implementation potential.
As the creators highlighted in a press release, the availability of advanced prosthetics for children and adolescents is a significant problem. Furthermore, these prostheses need to be regularly replaced, resulting in additional costs.
The initial plan is to develop a myoelectric prosthesis, where control is achieved by utilizing signals sent by muscles. The team hopes to conduct separate studies in this regard. If the utility of electromyographic (EMG) signals in hand movement recognition is confirmed, the proposed prosthesis will have a significantly wider range of motion, enhanced functionality, and intuitive operation.
“Over the next nine months, our work will focus on developing a research demonstrator of the prosthesis, which we will present at the Demo Day organized as part of Tech-Athon. This will be another step on our path towards creating a fully functional solution,” announced the young researchers from Warsaw University of Technology.
The Tech-Athon program lasts several months and is aimed at doctoral students from the Warsaw University of Technology. During the final event, the best teams were selected and received funding for further project development. The team working on the hand prosthesis was honored with an award and a grant of PLN 30,000.