This year, the Cybathlon launched the “Cybathlon Challenges”, a shorter format than the usual competition, allowing teams to test their technologies at an advanced level and to foster collaboration with their driver. In anticipation of the next global edition of the competition, which will take place in 2024, these Cybathlon Challenges are a good exercise for the participating teams, who can then benefit from training under the real, sometimes stressful, conditions of the competition.
Each team was given a unique task to complete, taken from the Cybathlon 2024 races and rules, which they were able to implement at home in order to successfully complete the competition. Viewers were able to follow the competition in the exoskeleton race, arm prosthesis race and wheelchair race, which were broadcast online on the Cybathlon website on May 18, 19 and 20.
ISIR’s Smart ArM (SAM) team performed in the ARM category
The Smart ArM (SAM) team, mainly from ISIR, competed on May 17, 2022 in the Arm Prosthesis Race category. Christophe Huchet, the team’s pilot, had to complete the imposed challenge in a given time: move everyday objects (key, bank card, ball, pen, etc.) from a location A to a location B, only with the help of the arm prosthesis designed by the team of scientists without using his valid hand. This test, based on dexterity, is a good example to illustrate the difficulties and obstacles that are presented to people with motor deficiencies. With a time of 2 minutes and 27 seconds, the SAM team placed 1st in the ARM discipline.
Smart ArM technology: an intuitive non-invasive prosthesis
Faced with competing teams using invasive technologies (osseointegration allowing direct attachment of the prosthesis to the bone, implanted electrodes to measure muscle contractions, etc.), the SAM team has been able to distinguish itself with a non-invasive prosthesis that does not require any surgical intervention.
The team aims to promote the possibilities offered by these non-invasive approaches to prosthesis control. The main innovation of SAM is its embedded control architecture and the associated sensorimotor control. This innovative control strategy is based on two different control modes
- a control based on the decoding of the voluntary contraction patterns of the residual muscles of the amputated arm;
- a control based on the user’s body and residual limb movements.
Dedicated to transhumeral amputees (above the elbow) or people with agenesis (congenital absence) of the forearm, this prosthesis offers intuitive and effective control approaches, which could extend motor abilities and increase autonomy for activities of daily living.
This performance, achieved at the Cybathlon Challenges, gives a foretaste of the 2024 edition of the Cybathlon. You will find there the SAM team which has registered for the next global edition in 2 categories: Arm Prosthesis Race and Assistance Robot Race.
Watch the performance of the SAM team: https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/projects-events/challenges/challenges-may-2022
To know more about the SAM team and their technology: http://team-sam.isir.upmc.fr
Contact: Nathanaël Jarrassé, CNRS research fellow