PhD, Movement-science inspired development of upper-limb prostheses for young children

Lead Research Organisation: Bangor University
Department Name: Sch of Psychology


Upper-limb loss in young children poses stark challenges for healthy development, and participation in society. Earlier prosthesis use is associated with lower rejection rates and better outcomes, particularly with active rather than cosmetic devices. Yet NHS provision of such prostheses is limited. Practical challenges include children's rapid growth-rate, and extensive fitting/production times for conventional prostheses. Ambionics develops and produces upper-limb prostheses for young children, tackling these challenges using rapid-prototyping technology to produce individualized prostheses quickly. We now address the challenge of developing prostheses that are maximally functional and intuitive to use. This is valuable practically because young children lack the cognitive/communication skills for conventional training. More fundamentally, natural hand movements are fluid and efficient because they involve automatic, anticipatory sensorimotor processes. Prostheses would ideally be controlled similarly, yet little is known about conditions required for this to occur, particularly in children. We will use theories/methods from movement science to determine fundamental principles governing intuitive prosthesis use in children. Departures from automatic, anticipatory control will reveal directions for improving design and function, and thus long-term outcomes.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2271093 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Dean Anthony Taylor