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A survey on what Australianís with upper limb difference want in a prosthesis: justification for using soft robotics and additive manufacturing for customized prosthetic hands


Stephens-Fripp, B and Walker, J and Goddard, E and Alici, G, A survey on what Australian's with upper limb difference want in a prosthesis: justification for using soft robotics and additive manufacturing for customized prosthetic hands, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 15, (3) pp. 342-349. ISSN 1748-3115 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/17483107.2019.1580777


Purpose: Upper limb prostheses are part of a rapidly changing market place. Despite development in device design, surveys report low levels of uptake and dissatisfaction with current prosthetic design. In this study, we present the results of a survey conducted with people with upper limb difference in Australia on their use of current prostheses and preferences in a prosthetic in order to inform future prosthetic hand design.

Methods: An online survey was conducted on upper limb amputees, with 27 respondents that completed the survey. The survey was a mixture of open-ended questions, ranking design features and quantitative questions on problems experienced and desired attributes of future prosthesis designs.

Results: Common key issues and concerns were isolated in the survey related to the weight, manipulation and dexterity, aesthetics, sensory feedback and financial cost; each of which could be addressed by additive manufacturing and soft robotics techniques.

Conclusions: The adaptability of additive manufacturing and soft robotics to the highlighted concerns of participants shows that further research into these techniques is a feasible method to improve patient satisfaction and acceptance in prosthetic hands.

Implications for Rehabilitation

  • Even with recent developments and advances in prosthetic design, the needs and desires of prosthetic users are not being met with current products.
  • The desires and needs of those with upper limb difference are diverse.
  • Using additive manufacturing to produce prosthetics allows for mass customization of prosthetics to meet these diverse needs while reducing costs.
  • A soft robotic approach to prosthetics can help meet the desires of reducing weight and costs, while maintaining functionality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:prosthetics, user engagement, soft robotics, additive manufacturing
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Biomedical engineering
Research Field:Medical devices
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Goddard, E (Dr Eliza Goddard)
ID Code:131632
Year Published:2020 (online first 2019)
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (CE140100012)
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Philosophy and Gender Studies
Deposited On:2019-03-28
Last Modified:2020-08-07

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