Research Collaborations

Nerves Incorporated Logo
Johns Hopkins University Logo
Alfred Mann Foundation Logo
Cleveland Clinic Logo
Sculpt Logo
Infinite Biomedical Technologies Logo

DARPA’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program (2015-2016)

Phase 1 research was awarded to eight research teams, including Nerves Incorporated (Dallas, TX), to further develop motor control and sensory feedback procedures to enhance the functionality of prosthetic devices. Arm Dynamics collaborated with the Nerves Incorporated research team and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, providing subject matter expertise and clinical resources to support the team’s research on establishing direct neural control of upper limb prostheses.*

*This work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO under the auspices of Dr. Al Emondi through the [Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific OR DARPA Contracts Management Office] Grant/Contract No. N66001-17C-4060.
HAPTIX Illustration


Arm Dynamics conceptualized, developed, field tested and validated new outcome-based assessments for the performance of any functional upper limb prosthetic device at any level of amputation. CAPPFUL® assessments provide clinicians and researchers with immediate clinical feedback for focused intervention and deliver relevant, objective, data that measures prosthesis performance, and informs prescriptive prosthesis types and component decisions. A psychometric validation of CAPPFUL assessments was published in the May 2018 Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. As upper limb prosthetic subject matter experts, CAPPFUL outcome measures support many of our research collaborations.

CAPPFUL Test Administration

DARPA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2016-2018)

DARPA funded a collaboration between Arm Dynamics (AD) and the FDA to analyze our existing upper limb outcome measure data, evaluate status of existing outcome metrics for upper limb prosthesis users, and collect new data from subjects in a motion capture study. We shared hundreds of data sets that span years of upper limb prosthetic outcome research from our statistically relevant patient population. AD and the FDA analyzed the data to inform current and future approval criteria for upper limb prosthetic devices and related technologies, including the 2018 motion capture study. We applied the Capacity Assessment of Prosthetic Performance for the Upper Limb (CAPPFUL) to collect objective data from the motion capture study. Publications stemming from this research collaboration include: Volume I, No. 1 of the JSM Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)

*This work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO under the auspices of Dr. Al Emondi through the [Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific OR DARPA Contracts Management Office] Grant/Contract No. N66001-17C-4060

CAPPFUL test using the LUKE arm

Cleveland Clinic Sensory Feedback Collaboration (2017)

The Cleveland Clinic (CC) requested our subject matter expert collaboration on the design, fit and fabrication of a novel socket and frame for a shoulder disarticulation prosthesis for their DARPA-funded upper limb sensory feedback study. The design and fit of this highly specialized prosthesis was critical to research protocol success. The prosthesis integrated proprietary tactors within the socket and frame, which applied proportional pressure to the enhanced muscle sites on the patient’s chest to communicate information about the grasp on objects in the prosthetic hand. According to Cleveland Clinic lead researcher Paul Marasco, Ph.D., the collaboration was a success: “The prosthetic arm isn't just a tool the patient wears — it's actually part of her. With the touch sensation, the user is able to actually interact with people and objects in a more natural way.”

Sensory Feedback illustration

Deka/LUKE Arm Data Collection and Outcome Measures

The Henry Jackson Foundation requested Arm Dynamics’ (AD) subject matter expertise in a study observing the capabilities of the DEKA™ arm over one year and assessing its impact on function through the use of traditional outcome measures. AD’s clinical therapy specialists first administered and scored outcome measures with a patient’s body-powered prosthesis. The patient was then fit and trained with the DEKA™ arm, and outcome measures were repeated at regular intervals for 12 months. At the end of the year, a qualitative assessment was performed to understand the patient’s perception of the impact the advanced arm had on his quality of life.

DEKA Luke arm patient fit and tested by Kerstin Baun, Therapist shown alongside Prosthetists MacJulian Lang and Dan Conyers

Alfred Mann Foundation Research on IMES (2013-2014)

The Alfred Mann Foundation (AMF) asked Arm Dynamics to provide subject matter expertise to fit and fabricate prostheses for the first three transradial patients who received AMF’s implantable myoelectric sensors (IMES). Arm Dynamics collaborated with AMF and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to guide the patients through pre-surgical screening, prosthetic fitting and training, and data collection using traditional upper limb outcome measures.

IMES implant illustration

Infinite Biomedical Technologies (IBT) and Johns Hopkins University Study (2017-2018)

This study investigated the impact of the morph control system on the users’ ability to switch between grasp patterns on the bebionic hand. Arm Dynamics supported IBT’s morph control system study with four key resources:

  1. The use of our Southwest Center of Excellence as the study location
  2. Access to a pool of experienced transradial upper limb prosthesis users
  3. Creation of unique prostheses that incorporated the morph control system
  4. Experienced upper limb clinical therapy specialists to facilitate outcome measure testing and scoring
IBT Study picture

Strategic Consortium for Upper Limb Prosthetic Technologies (SCULPT) Research Project (2017-2018)

SCULPT is an international collective of physicians, engineers, therapists and prosthetists who focus on upper limb prosthetics. As a participant in this group, Arm Dynamics contributed to a study that aimed to provide evidence of the possible functional benefits of multi-grip hands compared to traditional myoelectric hand systems. With the assistance of more than 200 research subjects around the world, outcome data associated with both types of prostheses was collected and compared. Results will be presented at the September 2018 American Orthotics and Prosthetics Association’s National Assembly.

Sculpt Logo

Collaborations with Upper Limb Prosthetic Component Manufacturers (ongoing)

Arm Dynamics collaborates with many manufacturers to field test emerging prosthetic solutions including fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, user interface designs, electrodes and software. For example, in 2017, we collaborated with TASKA to field test a pre-production, pre-release version of the Taska hand, and provided reports detailing the perspectives of prosthetists, therapists, technicians and patients.

Taska Open Palm image