More than 3000 children every year are born with a congenital limb deficiency in the United States alone. These children will change their prosthetics devices once every 6 months on average, making the purchase of a high end, automatic prosthesis not affordable for most families.
The advent of affordable 3D printers spawned numerous customizable and very affordable prosthetic hand models. These devices can be modified to fit the children as they grow, at a relatively low price. However, these prosthetic hands leave a lot to be desired in functionality. Most of these devices can only allow coarse finger control, placing it in stark contrast to commercial automatic hands.
Our Team is committed to take the concept of modular prosthetics a step further, continuing to bridge the gap between expensive robotic arms and 3D printed prosthesis. We are designing and developing Sparthan, a modular electronics kit, compatible with existing prosthetic hand models, which will enable intuitive hand control and movements.
This is a developer preview of the Sparthan module. We designed it to be compact and powerful, easy to embed in existing 3D printable prosthetic hands.
These papers were published and peer reviewed to showcase and validate different possible use-cases of project Sparthan.
Although many children are born with congenital limb malformation, contemporary functional artificial hands are costly and are not meant to be adapted to growing hand. In this work, we develop a low cost, adaptable and personalized system of an artificial prosthetic hand accompanied with hardware and software modules. Our solution consists of a consumer grade electromyography (EMG) recording hardware, a mobile companion device empowered by deep learning classification algorithms, a cloud component for offloading computations, and mechanical 3D printed arm operated by the embedded hardware. We focus on the flexibility of the designed system making it more affordable than the alternatives.
This paper describes the development and testing of a low-cost three-dimensional (3D) printed wearable hand exoskeleton to assist people with limited finger mobility and grip strength. The function of the presented orthosis is to support and enable light intensity activities of daily living and improve the ability to grasp and hold objects. The Sparthan Exoskeleton prototype utilizes a cable-driven design applied to individual digits with motors. The initial prototype is presented in this paper along with a preliminary evaluation of durability and performance efficacy.
New advances in both neurosciences and computational approaches have changed the landscapes for smart devices design serving mobility-related disabilities. In this paper we will look at how we integrated affordable robotics and wearable sensors through our mechatronic product platform to enable accessibility of the technology in both the power prosthesis and neurorehabilitation space.
Our multi disciplinary Team brings together both technical and managerial talents, to support the development of our product from prototyping to retail. These are some of our focus areas:
We design our PCBs in house, using widely available and open source electronics to ensure our modular kit will be hackable and customizable. All of our blueprints and design can be found on our Github page
The reliability of our systems is a fundamental for daily use. For this reason our design philosophy focuses on graceful failure, or the capability of our mechanical parts to maintain functionality even in the event of an accident.
We publish every firmware iteration we code, as well as the schematics of our parts. This allows anyone to replicate and modify our project, while we focus on providing a complete, easy to install package for less technical users.
Designing an intuitive interface is another challenge we face. The need for a responsive and easy way to interact with a prosthetic hand is key to the patient's experience, for this reason we employ experienced UI and UX designers.
Communicating with the community is an important part of the making process. For this reason we are always available on Github forums to answer questions and listen to comments. We design and maintain our website to showcase what is it possible to achieve with the Sparthan kit.
Battery life is extremely important to provide a comfortable user experience. Sparthan uses the new generation of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to guarantee a reliable usage time.
Project Sparthan started at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, we can't wait to bring it to as many people as we can
I Love making stuff, building robots and daydreaming. Probably spend too much time on YouTube.
Italian, fell in love with engineering watching an automated pizza machine. Friends like me mostly for my carbonara recipe. I lived in the U.S. and Hong Kong. I am now finishing my master's degree at U.C. Berkeley. I am passionate about human robotics and synthetic biology.
Dr. Leung’s research focuses on multidisciplinary system design and optimization for the following integrative systems: Modular subject-specific exoskeleton/exo-prostheses, Field robotics in terrestrial and aerospace applications, Automation solutions to smart manufacturing. She is the academic advisor to Project Sparthan and an amazing source of support.
Kirill is currently finishing his Ph.D. at HKUST with a focus on integrating machine learning into Brain to Computer Interfaces. Originally from Russia he received bachelor and MPhil degree from Novosibirsk State University.
Contact us at the links below.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology