A Wireless Body Area Network for an Improved Control of Bionic Prosthetic Arms

01 June 2020 → 30 September 2020
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Device biomechanics
Radio-Frequency Body Area Network Antennas Electromagnetism Bionics Wireless Wearables Propagation
Project description

There are approximately 5 million amputees in the USA and the EU
combined and these numbers are expected to increase.
Consequently, there have been innovations in neuro-prosthetic limbs
that led to the development of smart prosthetics, including bionic
prosthetic arms. These devices require connections to several onbody
sensors and actuators in order to function properly. This
communication is wireless in order to improve patients' comfort.
There exist a large number of body-worn sensors that are used for
control of bionic prostheses. Most of these need to communicate with
the prosthesis and with each other. However, these nodes will most
likely not have much energy available. Moreover, their connections
vary dynamically and can be obstructed. This can negatively affect
the functionality of the prosthesis. Therefore, an efficient design of
this network of nodes on the body, a so-called Body Area Network
(BAN), is required. In this project, the optimal on-body placement of
the BAN, the wireless body channel, and the antennas that are used
for the wireless communication in the BAN will be studied, in order to
optimize the communication between wearable sensors and the
smart prosthesis.
Eventually, this project will enable the usage of smart prostheses and
will contribute towards a better quality of life for a large and growing
number of patients.