Adjustable Smart Limb Socket



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Artificial limbs can cost upwards of $100,000 but without a proper fit, it is difficult to wear them for even more than a few hours and may even cause further injury to the patient. In fact, 13.4% of amputees in third world countries end up abandoning their prosthetic due to discomfort. My goal for this project was to improve amputees’ quality of life by designing a transhumeral prosthesis socket to be as perfectly fit, breathable and user friendly as possible. For this project, I spent time conducting biomedical research about the anatomy of the upper arm and the various pressure points within the residual limb of transhumeral amputees, as well as material research on electroactive polymers and “artificial electric muscles” that contract and expand when exposed to a low voltage. I also did research on user experiences with existing sockets and the problems that are experienced. Through the SURF summer program I have developed a concept for a minimal , highly ventialted ,self adjusting prosthetic socket for transhumeral amputees that is able to conform in real time to the patient's arm depending on the activity being done. The Smart Socket uses sensors to measure pressure and determine arm position within the socket, in order for a low voltage electroactive polymer band to contact or release around the arm in real time.