Image 4 shows the average total time it took for the senior individual and the able-bodied subjects from the initial go-signal until the object was fully pinched. The toothbrush and deck of cards were excluded from this graph because the individual was never able to pinch these objects in the first place. There was a trend that the missions were completed much faster with the binary control algorithm, but it was different with the hockey puck. It resulted in a high correlation with the amount of time it took in the pinching phase and the object mass, which there was no correlation between the size of the object and the task completion time.
Based on the experimental design that was done on the senior individual with quadriplegia, there were benefits which helped assist the senior, but there were also drawbacks, which will be used to improve the design of this technology. The first impact that this technology has on the senior is that it helped them reach/pinch/grab/release certain objects successfully without dropping or breaking them. Although it was successful in some cases, it was not feasible in other cases which were tested, like the electric toothbrush and the deck of cards. This will impact the individual greatly because if an object is dropped to the ground, the senior would be unable to grab it from the floor, as it would be out of reach. The timings of the tested tasks were not a problem because this is a technology which needs precision for the senior to reach/pinch/grab/release the objects. The times shown on image 4 shows that it takes around 2 to 2.5 seconds for the object to be pinched, which is not a problem. The timing is also needed to process the signals properly to evaluate how and when the joints need to be flexed.
Based off of the experiment, there are many advantages that helped aid the senior.
· The orthotic hand exoskeleton allowed the senior to grab certain objects that would otherwise be very difficult to hold as a quadriplegic patient.
· It also allowed the senior to perform a pinching motion using the index finger, as well as the thumb.
· This product will help the seniors by allowing them to become more independent and not need the help of other individuals constantly.
· The product has been modified to make it less chunky, which will help the seniors because they will not have to carry a large product around everywhere
· If there are very few EMG and EEG signals from the senior patient, then the machine will not read those. The EMG sensors are then put on a muscle group (bicep) that will contract over a certain threshold and send those signals to activate the pinching form.
· Based off of the test, the senior individual was able to control their force/pressure output by not breaking the Twinkie. The senior individual was able to successfully complete the designated tasks for 4/6 objects.
Although there were some advantages, there were many corresponding disadvantages that set the senior individual back:
· There are some small objects that have been tested that the seniors could not grab, which was shown from the tests. (ex. Electric tooth brush and deck of cards).
· The robotic hand only uses the index finger and thumb, which limits the range of motion for pinching and grabbing.
· Although it helps with the upper body, there is no correspondence with the lower body. In some of the previous designs, the lower body was used for a threshold level, but was never assisted.
· Although you will not need the help of others, the product needs to be put on the quadriplegic senior with the help of other capable individuals.
· Although it has been modified from the previous products, the design is still very chunky and heavy. All of the pneumatics and batteries have to either be installed in the senior’s wheelchair or in a carrying case.
· If there are very few EMG and EEG signals from the senior patient, then the machine will not read those and not be able to assist. Then, the machine has to be hooked up to a muscle group that will activate the pinching form of the machine.
· From the experiment, the individual was tested to lift objects that were all less than one pound in mass. This robotic hand is unable to assist the seniors in lifting heavier objects because the individual could not pinch/lift the toothbrush which was 0.7 lbs. Based on that result, the mass capacity might also be a disadvantage for the senior quadriplegics.