Prosthetic arm use: hands opening a pen-knife

Prosthetic arm use: hands opening a pen-knife

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This image is part of the feature One Armed Cowboy

Credit: PETER MENZEL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pair of hands, one from a "myoelectric" prosthetic arm, opening a pen-knife. The ranch owner to whom these hands belong has learned to use his artifi- cial hand with fine precision. This artificial right arm worn with a hand, is battery powered. Small electrodes placed on the skin at the site of amputation, sense the electrical activity of the remaining arm muscle. These muscle signals are electronically amplified and are used to move the prosthetic arm and hand as required. It gives the user fine control over the limb, and the ability to use the arm and hand slowly or quickly, with precision and varying strength. The "myoelectric" arm was developed at the University of Utah, USA. Photograph of Bob Goodman.

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Keywords: arm, artificial arm, artificial limb, hand, healthcare, medical, medicine, myoelectric, prosthesis, prosthetic

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