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Controlling a Robotic Arm through Phantom Limb Movements

Back years ago, missing limbs meant someone was labeled useless and not normal due to the lack of mobility, however, with the development of human creativity, more and more groundbreaking innovations have been released to support the life of the amputee community. One of these meaningful creations is the exploration of phantom limb movements. 

1.Understanding Phantom Limb Movement

An upper limb young man wearing white polo shirt is using his prothesis hand to hold a blue dumb bell in the park
The discovery of phantom limb movement has brought out lots of break-through innovations

Phantom limb movement refers to the sensation of movement in a limb that is no longer present. Despite the absence of the physical limb, the brain continues to send signals, creating the perception of movement. These signals are generated by the residual muscles in the amputated limb. By harnessing these phantom limb movements, individuals can regain control over a robotic arm, bridging the gap between missing limbs and machine.

2. The Power of EMG Sensors

At the forefront of controlling a robotic arm through phantom limb movements are EMG (electromyography) sensors. These advanced sensors play an important role in capturing and translating the electrical signals generated by the residual muscles in the amputated limb into precise and accurate motion, to control the prosthetic by Bluetooth connection (also known as BLE technology). Vulcan's EMG technology has emerged as a leader in this field, garnering recognition and adoption by clinics, healthcare professionals, and users worldwide, including in Singapore, India, Brazil, Poland, Ukraine, Israel, and beyond.

What sets Vulcan EMG sensors apart from others is their integration into the Vulcan exclusive app, creating a powerful synergy between the sensors and the user's prosthetic limb. This integration allows the sensors to detect and measure the user's unique muscle signals with remarkable speed and accuracy, converting them into specific numerical values that represent muscle strength. These values are then utilized to adjust and fine-tune the control settings of the Vulcan hand, all without requiring assistance from healthcare professionals.

This customized discovery process empowers the users to independently take control of their prosthetic hands, eliminating the need for extensive waiting times and multiple appointments to fine-tune the muscle signals. By leveraging the Vulcan app, users can efficiently and effectively match their muscle signals to the sensors, ensuring optimal control and functionality. Moreover, the app enables users to track their muscle development over time, providing valuable insights and progress monitoring that can further enhance their control and overall experience.

Compared to traditional electrodes, which often involve a more complex and time-consuming calibration process, Vulcan's integrated EMG sensors offer a streamlined and user-friendly experience. This not only saves time but also reduces the reliance on healthcare professionals, allowing users to adapt and adjust their prosthetic limb control settings at their convenience. With Vulcan, you're not just receiving a prosthetic; you're becoming part of a supportive community dedicated to helping you thrive.

3. Controlling a Robotic Arm with Phantom Limb Movements

Training the contracting muscles to recognize specific phantom limb movements is a crucial step in controlling a robotic arm. That is why at Vulcan, you can find all these supports on the Vulcan app, Vulcan offers you full packaging care, from before to after installation.  Expert-designed rehabilitation, proper training, automatic calibration, engaging practice, and ongoing support are included at Vulcan, optimizing your performance and enhancing control and accuracy for later.

An upper limb old man wearing blue shirt is practicing to use his prosthesis hand with the other upper limb young man in an orange room
An on - going training with the Vulcan team

For example, contracting certain muscles can be trained to grasp and hold objects, while releasing the contraction can trigger the release of the object. This intuitive control allows individuals to perform daily tasks with greater ease and efficiency. 

4. Benefits and Applications

Controlling a robotic arm through phantom limb movements offers a multitude of benefits. The increased dexterity, precision, and naturalness of movements compared to traditional prosthetics can significantly improve an individual's quality of life. Imagine being able to pick up a glass of water, hold a pen to write, or even pursue hobbies like playing games with confidence and ease. This technology finds applications in various areas, including activities of daily living, occupational tasks, and recreational activities, which users once thought were out of reach.

An upper limb young man wearing a white polo shirt is using his prothesis hand to write a note on his ipad in a living room
Continuing to do what you love with the support of the Vulcan hand

Vulcan is committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation and providing the support needed to make this technology a reality for individuals worldwide.

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Vulcan Augmetics specializes in providing medical-standard prosthetic products at reasonable costs to provide the most appropriate support to users quickly and conveniently.

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