Modern technology has enabled upper limb amputees to keep pace in a fast paced society. But there are still challenges.
Researchers at three universities are working to make those daily tasks for amputees simpler too — not only physically, but mentally as well.
“To understand the cognitive load, or mental workload when prosthetic users use different types of upper limb prosthetic devices,” said assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University Maryam Zahabi, Ph.D. “So the issue is that most of these prosthetic devices are actually very hard to use and very challenging.”
The tools used in the research? Machine learning algorithms and computer models. Driving simulations and virtual reality also play a role.
Electromyography, which is also being looked at, records electrical activity happening in the muscles. Those signals in turn help decipher them into commands.
The funding for the project comes from the National Science Foundation. Texas A&M University is working with North Carolina State University and the University of Florida.