Submitted by Exponential Times on Tue, 2014-04-22 09:25
I recently had the opportunity to work with a great guy named Jose Delgado, Jr., a 53-year old who was born without most of his left hand. I made a 3D printed prosthetic hand for Jose and, after using it for a while, I asked him to give me some honest feedback about how it compares to his more expensive myoelectric prosthesis. This is obviously not an "apples to apples" comparison in terms of the devices, but the real value of a prosthesis comes from how useful it is on a day-to-day basis, and that is the focus of the comparison here.
This 3D printed prosthesis is a completely mechanical design. There are a series of non-flexible cords running along the underside of each finger, connecting to a "tensioning block" on the top rear of the device (the "gauntlet"). The tension is caused by bending the wrist downward. With the wrist in its natural resting position, the fingers are extended, with a natural inward curve. When the wrist is bent 20-30 degrees downward, the non-flexible cords are pulled, causing the fingers and thumb to bend inwards. A second series of flexible cords run along the tops of the fingers, causing the fingers to return automatically when tension is released.
Submitted by Exponential Times on Fri, 2014-03-28 23:26
Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab's Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate
Submitted by Exponential Times on Sat, 2013-02-23 09:03
Joel Burdick, the Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, received his undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and chemistry from Duke University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He has been with the department of mechanical engineering at the Caltech since May 1988, where he has been the recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, and the Feynman fellowship. He has also received the ASCIT Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the GSA Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Education, and received the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award in 2011. In addition to mechanical engineering, he is a core faculty of the control and dynamical systems option, as well as a faculty affiliate in the options of bioengineering (BE) and computational and neural systems (CNS). His research interests lie mainly in the areas of robotics, kinematics, and mechanical systems.