New Adventures of Cyborg in Germany
September 26 - 27 in Dusseldorf, an exhibition and congress of Rehacare 2018 was held. This is a major event in the rehabilitation industry, where this year the demonstration Cybathlon was held. The competition was indicative and from all disciplines one could see two - hand prostheses and electro-lap.
Since we planned to participate in the exhibition in advance, we also could not take part in Cybathlon. It was interesting to test the new version of the bionic prosthesis in practice and compare it with competitors.
At Rehacare, we set ourselves several tasks: to show our developments - active and myoelectric prostheses, a VR-platform for the rehabilitation of Attilan and participation in the demonstration Cybathlon. I will tell you about everything: about the adventures of cyborg in reality, and about the possibility of adventures in virtual reality, and at the end of the article you will receive a bonus.
Part One: Real Adventures
My name is Dmitry, I went to Düsseldorf with the second for me in a row prosthesis of the forearm "Stradivari".
Even with the first bionic prosthesis there was one problem - I have a very short stump. This means that the signals in the muscles are weak, so the addiction lasted longer. I constantly practiced giving signals with muscles, doing massages for my hands, and just going through general physical training.
Before the demonstration performances of Cybathlon 2018 in Düsseldorf, I had already used the prosthesis for about a month. This is very small compared to other cybatlists, but during this time I was able to almost completely synchronize with my new cybernetic hand. The exceptions were untested and undrained hand positions, in which the stump could not properly interact with the sensors. For example, the position in which the elbow is raised and the brush is lowered: in this case, the connection with the lower sensor disappears and the gripper's ability is turned off. This problem is solved by improving the stub-sleeve connection.
There were no radical changes in the technical plan in the new version, the basic characteristics remained the same:
- Operating temperature - from -10 to 40 ° C;
- Brush opening width - 110 mm;
- Time of full disclosure of the brush - 1.5 seconds;
- Hand grip force - 90 N;
- The weight of the brush in the shell - 480 g;
- Operating time in operation mode - 48 hours;
- Full recharging takes 2 hours.
The built-in smartphone was removed, because it increased the weight (and in competitions it would still interfere with the execution of tasks). There is an e-ink display, which displays the parameters of the prosthesis, time, custom avatar. Charge indicator removed separately. The liner has also changed: this prosthetist has formed from a large number of layers of fabric soaked in resin. The top layer can be applied from almost any fabric and the pattern will remain. After hardening, the fabric turns into durable plastic, it is relatively light and does not get dirty.
Separately, I want to tell you about the sensors to remove the EMG-signals. First, they were developed by our engineers from scratch. From analogs they are distinguished by higher sensitivity. Setting the sensor control system is carried out from a mobile application via Bluetooth without interference by a screwdriver, for example.
By the way, we used the same sensors and sensor signal processing algorithm in the device to search for EMG signals and evaluate the ability to control the prosthesis. If the device distinguishes the signals coming from the muscles, then the person will be able to precisely control the bionic prosthesis. Soon he will be certified and will be available in the regional offices of prosthetic centers.
Its task is to measure the activity of the arm muscles, these data are necessary to obtain a medical-technical conclusion that a bionic prosthesis can be obtained for a person (according to current standards, a bioelectric prosthesis can establish with the activity of the control muscles not less than 50 µV and the antagonist muscles not more than 30 µV ). Given that now in the regions it is often not possible to do electromyography, such a device solves the problem of the availability of this medical procedure.
The device will be improved and will soon be able to remove the myogram using Windows software and automatically generate a report-conclusion in Word format.
But back to the adventures of cyborg.
The prosthesis was mastered, I was already in Germany. And the matter remained for the small: to test the prosthesis in the "field" conditions.
Compared to 2016, when the first Cybathlon was held, the path of obstacles for users of high-tech prostheses changed slightly. The demonstration included 4 tasks. I adapted the original names to more “speaking” ones.
"Objects in a circle"
For the shortest possible time to put objects in the desired position, passing around the table. Only 8 objects and actions, for example, insert a card into the card reader, pick up a mug, insert the key into the keyhole and turn it.
“Dressed up? Take
off your clothes ! ” Tasks related to clothes were solved here. Button up the zipper, tie the laces, button up the buttons and so on. The most important thing was to undress at the end, many cybatlists forgot to do this and the mission was considered failed.
Hammer, screwdriver, scissors and a light bulb. In the task, you need to transfer the tools and then use them: hammer a nail, twist a light bulb, cut a piece of paper with scissors. It was not necessary to undress here!
Metal tube with a lot of turns and tight corners. The task is to go through it with a handle without touching the pipe.
I passed all the tests and did it in due time - 8 minutes. In the video you can see what these exercises look like:
Not without errors - I was nervous, and this influenced the result. But at first the rivals also performed very weakly, were nervous, were mistaken. But in the end we all aligned, began to perform tasks well. I was glad to meet them, they are very interesting people. They are great fellows, and I think we will see them in 2020.
If you have any questions - ask in the comments, I will answer all.
Part Two: Virtual Adventures
And now about the virtual adventures, one of the developments that could be seen on our stand was Attilan. This is a separate project that came out from under the wing of Motorika and became a separate company.
Attilan is a virtual platform on which rehabilitation is carried out, and this happens in the form of a game. As part of the game, users find themselves on the international space station in Mars orbit, their mission is to colonize the red planet. At each stage of the game, users are assigned tasks that “provoke” him to use the prosthesis. By completing the stages of the mission, the person advances in the game, proceeds to the next level. Such motivation is more effective, people like to play more than to be treated.
During the game (and not only), the prosthesis collects data about the user's activity, its quality, problems that have arisen or failures during the use of the technical means of rehabilitation (TCP). All this information is not just collected, then it goes to the doctor who leads the user. And that, in turn, monitors progress and adjusts the rehabilitation program as a whole.
Already in the next version of the prosthesis, a telemetry module will appear in it, which will collect and transmit this information. Beeline became a partner in this project, with their capacities we will be able to create a cool functional digital space for rehabilitation.
In Düsseldorf, you could plunge into the virtual world of the station and interact with the local outside world. There were many curious. Already, you can join the project, it is not necessary to be a user of high-tech prostheses, but also a developer in the field of rehabilitation or a doctor.
Part Three: Bonus
And now to the useful amenities. Our work does not stop there; we need fresh brains and hands in different areas. Now one of the burning jobs is a job for a software engineer .
Bored tasks await him: the development of a gesture recognition system based on the analysis of EMG signals, the classification of their patterns, machine learning of the signal classification system. See this challenge to your skills? Then we are waiting for a letter from you!