03.11.2017 change 06.11.2017

Students of the Bialystok University of Technology are building a bionic hand prosthesis

Bialystok University of Technology students are building a bionic hand prosthesis, designed to help in everyday life of the disabled after hand amputation. Signal will be sent to the prosthesis by contracting the corresponding forearm muscles, making it possible to make hand movements.

The bionic hand prosthesis is being designed by an interdisciplinary group of students from several faculties. Sławomir Grycuk, coordinator and originator of the project and Bialystok University of Technology student, told PAP that the idea of prosthesis was born several years ago.

"I wanted to help people with disabilities, and I saw people after amputations walk without a prosthesis. I was surprised by this fact and decided to look for more information on this subject" - he said. He added that after checking the market and conversations with the disabled, he found out that people after amputations often did not want to wear the so-called cosmetic prostheses due to bad fit and lack of functionality and, on the other hand, they simply could not afford a more advanced prosthesis.

Hence, the idea - as Grycuk said - to create a prosthesis that will combine appearance with functionality, and will also be inexpensive. "The idea was to design a prosthesis that everyone would afford" - he added. He said that technologically advanced prostheses cost tens of thousands of zlotys, and his design would cost a few thousand zlotys.

The prosthesis will react to the movement of the forearm muscles, specifically muscle contraction. Grycuk explained that the electrodes connected to the forearm would send a signal that would be processed by the controller and then sent to the corresponding parts of the prosthesis. The inventor said that he used and original drive design in the prosthesis, thanks to which it is possible to move each phalanx separately.

The prosthesis will be designed to perform basic movements such as gripping or dropping. Grycuk said that each user would have to learn to contract the right muscles to make the desired movements.

Currently, the prosthesis is at the stage of building a prototype. The authors have prepared an electronic system, advanced computer program that will allow to perform movements. A model of the prosthesis have been printed on a 3D printer. The first prototype is due to be completed by the end of the year. Then the prosthesis will be tested to eliminate possible errors.

The bionic hand prosthesis project is funded by the "Discoverers of Diamonds" Association, which operates at Bialystok University of Technology, formed by the university and entrepreneurs from the region. (PAP)

author: Sylwia Wieczeryńska

editor: Agata Zbieg

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