New Hampshire Patent of the Month – March 2021
Deka Products made it a mission to improve the world’s accessibility. They have brought to life many inventions that improve people’s lives, from enhanced wheelchairs to at-home treatments for dialysis. They are proud to bring some positivity to the world. Recently, they have been developing a shoulder-to-hand prosthetic arm with improved range of motion and tactile capabilities.
Traditional prosthetic arms have been limited to partial arm replacements and usually limit movement to a single axis. Deka’s design uses a two-axis compound motion to give the user a greater range of motion. The design has motorized rotating abilities at the wrist, elbow and shoulder, as well as movement of the fingers. A controller communicates amongst the joints to assure the various parts work together for fluid movement. The hand assembly is covered in silicone to allow for improved grip. The fingers also have tactile feedback sensors to help apply the appropriate force and movement. This feedback is relayed to the user with vibrational components near the chest, helping them to adjust force as needed. Production of the arm is modifiable, so that if the user only needs a prosthetic arm from the elbow to hand, that could be made as well. This design gives the user the closest movement to a human arm currently available.
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