Contactless Control for Amputees

October, 2017

In modern life, one interface dominates all others: that between hand and digital device. This makes life much harder for those who’ve lost a hand. Though modern prosthetics can translate nerve signals into hand motions, even they lack the fine motor skills and tactile feedback needed to use a mouse easily. Three Berlin-based design students came up with a solution.

Their “Shortcut” wristband uses a microprocessor, sensors and Bluetooth to create a “phantom hand” that translates a repertoire of singled gestures into frequently used functions.

For example, signal “touch forefinger and thumb” to left-click the mouse, or “snap fingers” to close an active window. The trio developed the technology in collaboration with the prosthetics firm Ottobock and Fab Lab Berlin, where they’re now based. This DIY studio rents expensive, high-tech equipment to designers and serves as a forum for collaboration and training.

The Shortcut wristband turns a prosthetic limb into a “phantom hand” using a microprocessor, sensors and Bluetooth.

© The Digital Prosthesis – David Kaltenbach, Maximilian Mahal und Lucas Rex, GbR

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