We should all put ourselves in an amputee’s shoes, first and foremost as they want to reacquire the use of their hand. This is where PRISMA Hand I comes in. It is a prototype of a robotic hand developed by a team, PRISMA Lab, in Naples, chaired by a young researcher, Fanny Ficuciello, who has received, under the programme STAR, financial support from University of Naples Federico II, Banco di Napoli Foundation and Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation.
To reconfigure a new symmetry, between a natural hand and a prosthesis, is not simple. It is like building a new alliance. To make this possible, PRISMA Hand I has based its objectives on three main aspects: simplicity, dexterity and low cost.
Simplicity is key to PRISMA Hand I. It is easily connected to the amputee’s arm thanks to a non-invasive armband that uses EMG sensors. The EMG sensors capture the residual physiological signals of the amputee furthermore a voice recognition module is integrated allowing the patient to give verbal commands if the signals are insufficient. Dexterity is a fundamental aspect. The sensors permit the robotic hand to control the strength it uses when grasping different objects of various shapes. Last but not least, low cost is another strong element as it uses Arduino technology allowing a vast number of users to have access to this robotic hand.
Refinding the ease of making an everyday action, without invasive constraints with the result of regaining a self-image in its entirety, is the aim of a research in the field of mechanics, electronics, robotics and neuroscience working together.
PRISMA Hand I is to be placed among the first results of MUSHA, an extensive research on surgical robotics and assistance for the development of future generations of bio-inspired instruments and advanced paradigms of bio-aware manipulation.
A research that Fanny Ficuciello defines: “on human co-operation and its robotic extension”.
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