Bionic arms. How do amputees with bionic arms control the fingers and wrists to do things like picking up a cup and drinking so smoothly?

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This was asked a few years ago on here, but things have apparently improved a lot since then.

The top answer from before was describing a process that was a little cumbersome, but there’s videos of folks with new arms moving them and using their new hands much more smoothly than I would have thought possible using the older method described.

In: 100

15 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you have a severed limb, your brain can still send electrical signals through your nervous system (this is also what causes “phantom limb” pain). If you think about moving your arm, your brain will send the signal, which is then detected by receptors in the arm. A computer in the limb will then interpret the signals and move the arm accordingly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you have a severed limb, your brain can still send electrical signals through your nervous system (this is also what causes “phantom limb” pain). If you think about moving your arm, your brain will send the signal, which is then detected by receptors in the arm. A computer in the limb will then interpret the signals and move the arm accordingly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you have a severed limb, your brain can still send electrical signals through your nervous system (this is also what causes “phantom limb” pain). If you think about moving your arm, your brain will send the signal, which is then detected by receptors in the arm. A computer in the limb will then interpret the signals and move the arm accordingly.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s many different ways to achieve this. A common method is to attach electrodes to the stump on the muscles that are there. Amputees can still move their muscles and prosthetic technicians try to work with those remaining muscles to record specific signals that can be basically used as commands. Depending on the exact capabilities of the person and the nature of the amputation these signals may not exactly correspond to the original movements, or commands, they would use to move their limb but basically they just come up with a set of commands that control the limb. As technology progresses these recordings and the movements can become much more accurate and consistent.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s many different ways to achieve this. A common method is to attach electrodes to the stump on the muscles that are there. Amputees can still move their muscles and prosthetic technicians try to work with those remaining muscles to record specific signals that can be basically used as commands. Depending on the exact capabilities of the person and the nature of the amputation these signals may not exactly correspond to the original movements, or commands, they would use to move their limb but basically they just come up with a set of commands that control the limb. As technology progresses these recordings and the movements can become much more accurate and consistent.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s many different ways to achieve this. A common method is to attach electrodes to the stump on the muscles that are there. Amputees can still move their muscles and prosthetic technicians try to work with those remaining muscles to record specific signals that can be basically used as commands. Depending on the exact capabilities of the person and the nature of the amputation these signals may not exactly correspond to the original movements, or commands, they would use to move their limb but basically they just come up with a set of commands that control the limb. As technology progresses these recordings and the movements can become much more accurate and consistent.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First, there are different types of prosthesis that correspond to the location of the amputation. Prosthesis is a term for man-made limbs used in place of limbs that are missing. I’ll assume that because you said “bionic arms” you mean something above the wrist.

There are two primary ways to control prosthetic arms, body-powered and myoelectric. Body powered means that movements of the body control (such as moving your shoulder down and away from the body) result in actions of the prosthetic, like closing the hand. Muscles generate small amounts of electricity when they contract [for adults: also at “rest” most people have muscle activation, we call that ”tone”]. Myoelectric is a word that means muscle electricity. So these types of prosthesis have sensors that can detect the muscle electricity and signal motors in the bionic arm to move. This explains how the person can control the machine.

The muscles used depends on the level of amputation. Muscles are attached to bone, so if part of a bone is removed, the muscle is no longer attached. This means the muscle can’t work because it is only attached on one end. Doctors will either screw the muscle into what is left of the bone [adults: myodesis] or tie the muscles on one side of the arm to the muscles on the other side [adults: myoplasty]. Now this explains how we can get working muscles with amputation of the bones they attach to.

So normally I contract muscles in my forearm to flex or extend my wrist, but if I am missing my wrist and hand, these muscles can be attached to sensors of a myoelectric prosthesis. The trick is you need to learn to control these muscles individually. In order to close your bionic hand, you need to relax muscles on one side of your arm and contract the muscles on the other side. This is something that often physical therapists do to help the person learn to use the prosthetic correctly.

Source: physical therapy student who just took a prosthetic class.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First, there are different types of prosthesis that correspond to the location of the amputation. Prosthesis is a term for man-made limbs used in place of limbs that are missing. I’ll assume that because you said “bionic arms” you mean something above the wrist.

There are two primary ways to control prosthetic arms, body-powered and myoelectric. Body powered means that movements of the body control (such as moving your shoulder down and away from the body) result in actions of the prosthetic, like closing the hand. Muscles generate small amounts of electricity when they contract [for adults: also at “rest” most people have muscle activation, we call that ”tone”]. Myoelectric is a word that means muscle electricity. So these types of prosthesis have sensors that can detect the muscle electricity and signal motors in the bionic arm to move. This explains how the person can control the machine.

The muscles used depends on the level of amputation. Muscles are attached to bone, so if part of a bone is removed, the muscle is no longer attached. This means the muscle can’t work because it is only attached on one end. Doctors will either screw the muscle into what is left of the bone [adults: myodesis] or tie the muscles on one side of the arm to the muscles on the other side [adults: myoplasty]. Now this explains how we can get working muscles with amputation of the bones they attach to.

So normally I contract muscles in my forearm to flex or extend my wrist, but if I am missing my wrist and hand, these muscles can be attached to sensors of a myoelectric prosthesis. The trick is you need to learn to control these muscles individually. In order to close your bionic hand, you need to relax muscles on one side of your arm and contract the muscles on the other side. This is something that often physical therapists do to help the person learn to use the prosthetic correctly.

Source: physical therapy student who just took a prosthetic class.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First, there are different types of prosthesis that correspond to the location of the amputation. Prosthesis is a term for man-made limbs used in place of limbs that are missing. I’ll assume that because you said “bionic arms” you mean something above the wrist.

There are two primary ways to control prosthetic arms, body-powered and myoelectric. Body powered means that movements of the body control (such as moving your shoulder down and away from the body) result in actions of the prosthetic, like closing the hand. Muscles generate small amounts of electricity when they contract [for adults: also at “rest” most people have muscle activation, we call that ”tone”]. Myoelectric is a word that means muscle electricity. So these types of prosthesis have sensors that can detect the muscle electricity and signal motors in the bionic arm to move. This explains how the person can control the machine.

The muscles used depends on the level of amputation. Muscles are attached to bone, so if part of a bone is removed, the muscle is no longer attached. This means the muscle can’t work because it is only attached on one end. Doctors will either screw the muscle into what is left of the bone [adults: myodesis] or tie the muscles on one side of the arm to the muscles on the other side [adults: myoplasty]. Now this explains how we can get working muscles with amputation of the bones they attach to.

So normally I contract muscles in my forearm to flex or extend my wrist, but if I am missing my wrist and hand, these muscles can be attached to sensors of a myoelectric prosthesis. The trick is you need to learn to control these muscles individually. In order to close your bionic hand, you need to relax muscles on one side of your arm and contract the muscles on the other side. This is something that often physical therapists do to help the person learn to use the prosthetic correctly.

Source: physical therapy student who just took a prosthetic class.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The first bionic arm was given to a man from my hometown. He was working on a powerline and was electrocuted. His arm had to be amputated all the way to the shoulder.

Four of the nerves that used to control his arm were relocated to his torso, and that’s what he had to learn to use to control the bionic arm.

He lost both of his arms. The other one was replaced with a traditional prosthetic.

https://www.rheaheraldnews.com/news/local/article_3b526b8d-5638-5759-b946-54766e78eb58.html