The Smart ArM (SAM) team will participate in the first edition of the “Cybathlon Challenges” in May 2022! This competition consists of one task per discipline, taken from the races and rules of the next edition of the Cybathlon which will take place in 2024.
This new competition format gives teams and their pilots the opportunity to test their devices, show their evolutions and measure their performance against other teams. The competition format of the “Cybathlon Challenges” is short and direct: a limited number of teams, one task from the Cybathlon 2024 races and rules in the selected disciplines and each participating team has one attempt to solve the task. The teams will perform their task at home. Spectators will be able to follow the challenges via a live broadcast on www.cybathlon.com. The “Arm Prosthesis Race” category, in which the SAM team competes, will be broadcasted on Thursday, May 19 at 12pm.
The French SAM team – Smart ArM
The SAM team is a research team mainly from the ISIR, specialized in prostheses for transhumeral amputees, i.e. above the elbow. SAM wants to promote the possibilities offered by non-invasive approaches for the control of prostheses.
The team led by Nathanaël Jarrassé, CNRS Research Fellow, is composed of about 15 scientists from the fields of robotics and neuroscience, the pilot, Christophe Huchet, who will take up the challenge using the prosthesis prototype developed by the team, supported by a group of specialized physicians. The Smart ArM team, which has already participated in the Cybathlon 2020 Global Edition in the “Arm prosthesis race” category, was one of the only teams to have a prosthesis with an active robotic elbow.
During the competition, the team will present a prototype of a very advanced arm prosthesis (elbow, wrist and hand), the result of several years of research at ISIR, and whose control, recently patented, is based on the decoding of motor control in humans.
The arm prosthesis, robotic assistance technology created by humans for humans
SAM (Smart ArM) is an arm prosthesis dedicated to transhumeral amputees or people with agenesis (congenital absence) of the forearm. It provides patients with intuitive and effective control approaches, allowing them to extend their motor abilities and increase their autonomy for activities of daily living.
The aim of SAM is to draw special attention to the complex case of the “above elbow” amputation level and its particularities. Indeed, transhumeral or congenital amputees who need elbow prostheses have to deal with the complex control of at least two active joints (on which little research is conducted) in addition to the control of the hand. SAM also wants to promote the possibilities offered by non-invasive approaches, in response to recent trends in invasive and surgical techniques (implanted electrodes, muscle reinnervation, etc.).
The prosthesis has two motorized degrees of freedom: an original active exoskeletal elbow adapted to people with agenesis and an active robotic wrist rotator. In addition, the SAM prosthesis can be equipped with any commercially available hand prosthesis. For the “Cybathlon Challenges”, it will be equipped with an i-Limb Quantum polydigital hand from Touch Bionics/Ossür. The prototype for this competition also includes a conventional socket designed specifically for the pilot by team partner IRR-UGECAM.
Christophe Huchet, the SAM team pilot
Christophe Huchet is the official driver of the SAM team and an ISIR affiliate member since April 2021. He was born with an agenesis of the right forearm including the elbow. High level sportsman, he was many times French Champion in 100 meters breaststroke, in handisport section. For 20 years, Christophe has created several restaurants in Paris, where he has seen many talents emerge. Recently reconverted into a certified coach, his objective is to accompany the leaders of small and medium-sized companies, as well as he himself has been accompanied as a business leader. Christophe was the official driver of the Smart ArM team for the Cybathlon 2020. After this first rich and intense collaboration, he will also be the pilot for the Cybathlon Challenges in May 2022, and for the Cybathlon 2024!
Support the SAM team: https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/en/teams/smart-ar-m-arm
Contact: Nathanaël Jarrassé, CNRS research fellow