News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB hosts artificial limb researchers

Author: Communications

Posted on Aug 18, 2011

Category: Events , UNB Fredericton , myUNB

FREDERICTON - It looks eerily like a scene from a science fiction movie, but the dangling arms, robotic hands and silicone skin covers on display at the University of New Brunswick this week are the star attractions of a symposium on upper limb prosthetics.

The MEC - myoelectric control - symposium is bringing together researchers, clinicians and industry officials to share latest developments in the ongoing effort to replicate human movement in artificial limbs.

The international gathering, held every three years, will provide UNB's cutting edge Institute of Biomedical Engineering with the opportunity to showcase the new hand that it is developing with funding from the federal Atlantic Innovation Fund.

Adam Clawson, project engineer with the institute, cups a prototype hand in his own hand as he explains that one of the main drivers behind the project is affordability.

"We want users with a limited budget to be able to experience the same functionality as someone with an unlimited budget," Clawson said in an interview Wednesday.

"We do this by reducing the number of motors and using gearing and other mechanisms to mimic the same functionality as a multi-motor hand."

The hand, which has multiple functions and an innovative rotating thumb, will be the focus of a paper to be presented by UNB researchers on Friday - the final day of the three-day symposium.

Read the full story at the Telegraph-Journal