Dexter Sinestre and the Left Hand of Darkness: Tales from the development of advanced Bionic limbs
Richard F. ff. Weir, PhDAbstract:
I will talk about the role of the system architect in system design for the design of advanced artificial limb systems. Our laboratory’s research is focused on the development advanced prosthetic systems for individuals with limb loss. Our research covers all aspects of the problem ranging from neural control and sensing, mechatronic design and development, novel actuator technologies, and clinical deployment of these systems. My team has led or been involved with some of the most important upper-limb prosthetics development initiatives. We were extensively involved in the design and development of all the prosthetic arm systems built under both DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics initiatives. We received multiple NIH BRP’s through NIBIB & NICHD to develop an implantable myoelectric sensor (IMES) system for use in the control of these prosthetic systems. This underwent first-in-human trials at Walter Reed Medical Center.
I have been in the field of Prosthesis design and Rehabilitation Research for over 30 years and have maintained extramural funding over that time. Over that time, I completed the training required to become clinical prosthetist and was Director of Research for Arm Dynamics (AD) for 2 years, AD is a national provider of upper-limb prosthetics care. Recently, I co-founded a company Point Designs, LLC, to sell 3D metal printed prosthetic fingers designed in our laboratory, for persons with partial hand, multiple finger, individual finger and/or partial finger involvement. Most recently, we have been exploring novel ways of using optogenetics to non-invasively optically interface with the peripheral nervous system with the goal of providing enhanced prosthesis sensory feedback and control to users with limb loss. I hold joint appointments at both VA and UC Denver|AMC in the Bioengineering Department. As a mentor I currently have 1 post-Doc, 1 PhD candidate and 4 MS candidates. I have mentored 8 PhD candidates and 22 MS candidates.
Website home page: Weir Biomechatronics Development Laboratory