BioArm is an non-invasive prosthesis with two degrees of freedom.
Robotics currently provides answers to lower-limb or upper-limb amputees. The most expensive solutions surgically link the prosthetic object to nerve endings. This type of surgery can be very exhausting, intense and heavy, requiring a long rehabilitation period.
In parallel exist different kinds of non-invasive technologies, which allow the patient to recover the transmission of nerve information passing through the muscles. After an analysis of these messages, some myoelectric prosthetics activate the desired movement. The main interest is to avoid any surgery and to offer more cost-effective solutions. We then focused on the realisation of a biomechanical system recovering, analysing and running the desired movement of a person, all for a low cost.
Then, we have been focused on:
- The realization of a non-invasive biomechanical system, which allow the patient to recover the transmission of nerve information.
- The realization of a low cost system.
Based on the research and meetings conducted by the team, we have finally succeeded in developing our alternative called BioArm, which with three sensors placed on the forearm is able to manage a robotic arm with two degrees of freedom: flexion and pinch. The system, which is composed of an Arduino card, a Muscle Sensor V3 card (filtering and analysing electrical messages) and a robotic arm with two degrees of freedom, is already able to recover, analyse and send a command to the robotic limb.
In parallel with information acquisition, a human-machine interface has been developed with the software, processing to drive data acquisition. This interface allows the user to visualize the threshold of the voltage retrieved, according to the movement that the user has done. A graph, which shows voltage against time, has been integrated to develop and detail the various analyses of the messages received from the chosen nerves.
Throughout our project we have shown that it is possible to create a non-invasive prosthesis with two degrees of freedom. This project would need to be continued, as we would wish to refine the signal processing, perfect the graphical interface for the user whilst integrating individual requirements, and increase the number of degrees of freedom of the robotic limb, to enable the patient a much wider array of gestures and a better fluidity of motion. For the above purposes it could be developed in such a way as to position further sensors on the surface of the skin in the general region of the torso.