Archive for the ‘Man Amplifiers’ Category

1965 – G.E. Lifting Boom – Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

GE CAM boom x640 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

Source: Popular Mechanics, Aug 1965.

Pedipulator 007 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

Ralph Mosher bending over the Pedipulator. Possibly Ed Ziegler in the background.

G.E. Lifting Boom


Publication number US3333716 A
Publication date Aug 1, 1967
Filing date Dec 28, 1965
Inventor: Edwin E Ziegler
Original Assignee Gen Electric

 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A material handling device having an extensible lifting boom carried by a hoist and carriage and controlled by a handle. The carriage is mounted for rotation about vertical pivots to accomplish azimuth rotation of the boom. The azimuth motor is located in the base of the hoist and the boom is pivoted in the carriage for vertical movement. A hydraulic cylinder mounted between the boom and carriage imparts vertical movement to the boom and an extensible cylinder causes the extensible boom to extend or retract. In each motion there is spatial correspondence between the control element and boom tip and also a diminished force is fed back by lever systems from the boom to the control handle to give feel.

My invention relates to a hydraulically operated boom. This invention relates particularly to a hydraulic boom having return feel and has correspondence of movement between a control handle and the boom in azimuth and elevation. The apparatus will be described particularly in relation to a boom but is understood to be equally adapted to remote control of devices such as guns, power shovels or any other extended member wherein the characteristics of this invention are important.

In the movements of objects, it is a common occurrence that one wishes to move an object under load. When one wishes to move some object against a force of some sort, it is advantageous to have a feel in the control handle or shaft which corresponds to the amount of force put forth in overcoming the resistance to such movement. It is further advantageous if there is a spatial correspondence between the control handle and the object being moved. If both feel and spatial correspondence are present in the apparatus, the operators situation is most analogous to his physically moving the load. In prior art machines where these characteristics are absent, the operator must spend time to learn a new set of relationships between movement and feel of the control handle and the movement of the load.

A chief object of the present invention is to provide a lifting boom having a return feel which is a small portion of the force being exerted and having a spatial correspondence between the boom and the control handle. With my invention, the operator can position the load with deftness and accuracy.

Another object of this invention is to provide a system adaptable to control any device pivoted for universal movement.

Another object is to provide a compact easily controllable system for hoisting loads wherein the operators control movements are the same as he would use in physically moving the load. Thus in an emergency the operators spontaneous reactions are most likely to be correct.

Another object of my invention is to provide a device capable of doing the work of one or more men with corresponding less work and fatigue to the operator.

Another object of this invention is to provide a single control element or actuator for operating a plurality of operating motors in conjunction to accomplish the single purpose of moving an object about a pivot.

These and other objects will be more readily perceived from my description which follows.

Briefly stated, my invention is a control device which operates to move any extended member about a pivot in azimuth or vertically and to change the length of the extended member. The movements of the extended member correspond in direction to the movements of the single control member. In addition, some of the force applied to the extended member is fed to the control member to give it feel. Thus the extended member moves in the direction of motion of the control member and some of the force applied to the extended member is fed to the control member. In this way the operator will know the direction of motion of the extended member and will have an idea of the amount of force being applied to the extended member.


Mosher’s future concepts of his CAMS concept included options for the Boom.

Hardiman spin off 1 x640 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

Hardiman spin off 2 x640 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)

Hardiman spin off 3 x640 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)


See other GE CAMS here:

GE yes man robot life28may56p125 x80 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)1956- GE Yes Man
Mosher ge handyman Hula x80 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)1958-9- GE Handyman – Ralph Mosher
Pedipulator %20Walker S MFeb63 x80 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)1962 – GE Pedipulator – Ralph Mosher
GE Walking Truck Mosher x80 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)1969 – GE Walking Truck – Ralph Mosher
Man Mate PopSciDec1969 x80 1965   G.E. Lifting Boom   Edwin E Ziegler / Ralph Mosher (American)1969- GE Man-Mate Industrial manipulator

See other early Teleoperators here.


 

1971 – A computer controlled multi-task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients – Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

University of Wisconsin-Madison Mechanical Engineering Professor Ali Seireg achieved worldwide recognition for his work in mechanical and biomedical engineering design. Among his advances, he was first to develop a mathematical model of the entire human musculoskeletal system that could predict the muscle and joint forces and interactions, given a motion input. In the early 1970s, he performed pioneering research on using powered exoskeletons to help disabled people rehabilitate and walk. Here are a few iterations of Seireg's "walking machines," and his demonstration of their use.

Ali Seireg was the supervising Professor, but the exoskeleton was built by Jack George Grundmann.

seireg1 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

Source: The Wisconsin Engineer – Volume 77, Number 2 (November 1972)

Everyone Should Walk by Steve Sanborn
grundmann exo 1 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)     
Caption: Jack Grundmann is shown above wearing the walking device he constructed under the guidance of Prof. Seireg of the Mechanical Engineering Department.
During the 1971 Engineering Exposition people on this campus were exposed for the first time to a walking device.  This device was a three legged robot powered by compressed air. Actually it was not a complete robot but only the walking portion, just the legs.
  The mechanism was constructed to be a model, a mechanical analog of a walking human. It could have been built with only two legs rather than three, but since it weighed 260 pounds it would have damaged easily if tipped over. The third leg provided extra stability.
  Since this original prototype was constructed, a new two legged model has been built. The new model differs considerably from the prototype in many respects. The two legged model is powered by AC current rather than compressed air. Unlike the prototype, the present model is actually worn by a human. This was the goal of the design project, to create a device that would give a person that was unable to use his legs, the ability to walk again. The project is by no means completed. More work has to be done in designing and constructing the third model. Presently Jack Grundmann is testing and altering the second model so as to incorporate new ideas into the third mechanism.
As was mentioned, the first prototype was operated with compressed air. This model was consequently bulky and awkward. Model II is operated by what is described as a puppet system. Cables extend from cams, located in a pack, down the body to the individual joints in which they control. The pack is mounted

Grundmann tripedal walker 1 x640 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

Caption: Shown above is the original three legged walking machine.

seireg2 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)
Caption: This side view shows the long cables extending from the cams in the pack to the joints of the device.

on the shoulder of the person wearing the mechanism. Supports extend from the frame of the mechansim to the pack so that the heavy weight of the device is not felt by the wearer. Within the pack are the six cams that pull the cables causing the person to walk. These cams were designed to cause the joints to move almost exactly the way a normal human moves.
  Ultimately it is desired to make a system that will allow a person that can no longer use his legs to walk forward, backward, turn, sit, stand and walk up and down stairs. Also, the device should be cosmetic. This means that it should be possible to cover the mechanism and its suspension system with normal clothing apparel.
  Model II can only walk forward, Model III will be able to preform all these tasks. Model III will not be supported by bulky metal braces and tubes as were previous models. Instead, plastics and fiberglass will be incorporated as structural supports. To replace the bulky joints, electronic servo mechanisms will be employed. The use of electronics will allow a number of mini-programs to be place in a very small computer, carried by the person using the device. Each program would cause the mechanism to move, initating the motions a human makes. The programs would be turned on and off by the person wearing the device. There would be one program for each sequence of movements such as walking or for sitting.
  Very little has been done in the past three centuries in the area of prosthesis. The plastic leg of today is nothing more than an adaptation of the wooden leg of the seventeenth century. It is unfortunate that the technology of today has not been applied sooner to help paralized people walk again.
  This attempt at the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering requires the encouragement and support of all people concerned with restoring the ability to walk to those who can not.


Mk III

Grundmann exoskeleton mkIII 1 x640 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

Grundmann exoskeleton mkIII 2 x640 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

Grundmann exoskeleton mkIII 3 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)


ali seireg portrait 1971   A computer controlled multi task powered exoskeleton for paraplegic patients   Jack George Grundmann / Ali Seireg (American)

Kaiser Chair of Mechanical Engineering Ali Seireg was best known for his research on biomechanics, or treating the human body as a machine. He taught in the College of Engineering for 31 years before his retirement in 1997 and maintained a presence on campus until his death in 2002. He authored seven books and more than 300 papers, edited two journals for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and created a “walking-machine” for paraplegics, which was exhibited at the Seattle World’s Fair and the History of Medicine and Science Museum in London. He was an award-winning educator and internationally recognized engineer.


See other early Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots here.


1976 – Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis – Pierre Rabischong (French)

exo prosthesis  0002 x640 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)

exo prosthesis  x640 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)

Corbis 42 17253902 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)

Corbis 42 17253903 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)

Revolutionizing Techniques of Orthosis and Prosthesis
Professor Pierre Rabischong of the Montpellier Propara Centre watches as a female patient and her physical therapist use a machine developed by Professor Rabischong. This machine allows the patient in rehabilitation to maintain her balance while inciting her muscles to move. The system functions according to the master-slave concept. The physical therapist makes the movements first and the machine transfers them to the patient's machine, who then follows.
Stock Photo ID: 42-17253903
Date Photographed: 01 September 1983
Credit: © Eric Preau/Sygma/Corbis

Rabischong exoskeleton 1 x640 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)
Figure 4.4.2.(2) Active modular orthesis for lower limbs (OMAMI) (Rabischong, INSERM, France, 1983): 1 and 2, potentiometers for the master orthesis, worn by the patient; 3 and 4, slave hydraulic actuators for the patient. Contention on the segments is ensured by the presence of inflatable pieces reinforced with strips of composite material (carbon fibre). The hydraulic system was produced by Renault, the orthesis by Aerazure. The kinematic walking model, developed by the Automation and Microelectronics Laboratory, Montpellier (LAMM) is intended to be used and to give the
patient greater autonomy. Photo courtesy of INSERM

4.4.2.2 ASSISTED WALKING
Following on from the work of Tomovic the Yugoslav, Rabischong applied the problem of assistance to those with paralysis of the lower limbs using a motorized orthesis. His original idea (Rabischong et al., 1978; Hill, 1976-1) consisted of controlling the orthesis by unilateral positional servocontrol using two exoskeleton legs worn by the patient [see Figure 4.4.2.(2)]. The second version, currently being used experimentally, is hydraulically powered and was produced by Renault. This system is highly promising for training limbs; the extension towards autonomy on the basis of a kinematic computer model of walking is envisaged in the long term. The patient would use two walking sticks.

Source: Robot Technology – Vol 3a – Teleoperations and Robotics: Evolution and Development by  Jean Vertut and Philippe Coiffet, 1986.


Patent US3993056

Publication number    US3993056 A
Publication date    Nov 23, 1976
Filing date    Jan 21, 1976
Inventors    Pierre Rabischong, Jean Pierre Louis Bel
Original Assignee    Institut National De La Sante Et De La Recherche Medicale

Abstract
An orthopaedic appliance which enables paralytics to stand erect has a fabric garment formed in separate pieces to be tightly wrapped around body parts located between joints the pieces having an inflatable support structures in the form of vertical tubes and devices connecting garment pieces located on opposite sides of a body joint in the form of a separate row of rigid parallel pins attached to the inflatable structure each garment piece and a pivot which can be hydraulically or otherwise driven, interconnecting the rows of pins. The inflatable tubes are located in elongate fabric sheaths and the pins are inserted in fabric sheaths defined between the tube sheaths so that when the tubes are inflated they clamp the pins between them.

 1976   Pneumatic Exoskeleton Prosthesis   Pierre Rabischong (French)
See also later patent US4169467.

See other early Teleoperators, Exoskeletons and Industrial Robots here.


1986 – ROMAC Pneumatic Actuator – Guy Immega and Mirko Kukolj (American)

romac roboticsage x640 1986   ROMAC Pneumatic Actuator   Guy Immega and Mirko Kukolj (American)

ROMAC, THE PNEUMATIC MUSCLE
Actuator pulls 10,000 pounds using 60 psi
A pneumatic actuator based on the principle of the human biceps has come to our attention in the form of a patent disclosure. The ROMAC, under development by MacDonald Detwiller & Associates of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, works on low-pressure (shop) air and can lift over 200 pounds using 60 psi. The device weighs one pound. Its pulling force is said to exceed 10,000 pounds, rendering it superior to conventional pneumatic cylinders and nearly in the range of comparable hydraulic cylinders.
The flexible walls of the ROMAC are not designed to work as elastometers. Rather, the geometry of the individual pyramid elements allows for greater contraction. Additionally, the wire restraining cables and pyramid elements are combined into a "single surface" actuator designed to eliminate sliding friction during contraction, reducing wear on the soft parts and extending service life.
The device operates only under tension. Like the human biceps, it bulges in the middle as it contracts and flattens with
extension. In Photos 1 and 2, the ROMAC is manually manipulated by means of a lever to demonstrate its flexed and extended configurations. The potential contraction is 50 percent. The actuator is said to provide an extremely high force at the beginning of contraction, decreasing rapidly to zero at approximately 50 percent of contraction (Figure 1). The ROMAC's other advantages, as described, include the following:
• It is pneumatically powered but can also work with low-pressure hydraulics.
• It is leak-free, with no sliding seals and no static friction.
• It can be fabricated without metallic parts. (Fiber glass could be substituted for wire in the restraining cables.)
• It can be configured to do precision closed-loop control tasks.
• In opposing pairs, it can provide open-loop proportional control with inherently stiff operating characteristics.
Because of its high initial pulling force and its ability to perform in hostile surroundings, the ROMAC is expected to number among its future applications robotics, prosthetics, and nuclear and space environments.

[Source:The Robotics Age Nov 1985 - Edited by Stephanie vL Henkel]


Like the muscle used in Tim Jones' arm, the ROMAC is another example of the Netted-type of Pneumatic Artificial Muscle (PAM).

romac patent x640 1986   ROMAC Pneumatic Actuator   Guy Immega and Mirko Kukolj (American)

Axially contractable actuator by Guy Immega and Mirko Kukolj  
Patent number: 4939982
Filing date: Oct 16, 1985
Issue date: Jul 10, 1990

See full patent details here.


Grodski and Immega used ROMACs to control a 1-dof teleoperated arm by means of the myoelectric signals taken from a human operator's biceps and triceps. The operator can thus make the robot arm move without having to move his own. Independent position and stiffness control of the robot arm is achieved by regulating the ROMAC gauge pressures proportional to the operator's EMG signal output. Visual feedback to the operator is necessary.

immega myoelectric romac x495 1986   ROMAC Pneumatic Actuator   Guy Immega and Mirko Kukolj (American)

Myoelectric control of actuators Juliusz J. Grodski et al
Patent number: 4964061
Filing date: Jul 5, 1989
Issue date: Oct 16, 1990

See full patent here.


1957 – “Artificial Muscle” – Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

mckibben integration2001 1 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

Although "fluidic actuators" had been around for a long time prior to Joseph Laws McKibben's invention, none had been used previously for prosthetic applications, yet alone robotics. It was McKibben's use that coined the term "Artificial Muscle".

Joe McKibben talks about his invention:

More Help For Polio Victims
To bring motion to his little daughter's polio-paralyzed hands, Dr. Joseph Laws McKibben, an atomic physicist at Los Alamos, N.M., has developed a new mechanical "muscle" which some day may help thousands of other paralyzed fingers to move, to grasp, even to write.
The device, a simple nylon tube, powered by bottled carbon-dioxide gas, was demonstrated for the first time at a conference on human disability. "This is the best thing we've had so far for aiding the crippled," said Dr. Kenneth Landauer of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
Dr. McKibben, 46, is the physicist who triggered the first atomic-bomb test thirteen years
ago at Alamogordo. In 1952, his daughter Karen, now 13, 'Was stricken with polio and was paralyzed from the neck down. Since then she has lived many months in an iron lung at the Rancho Los Amigos Respiratory Center in Los Angeles, one of the fifteen rehabilitation institutions set up by the polio foundation to treat a variety of patients, including many paralyzed by polio. Last fall, Dr. Vernon Nickell, chief orthopedist at the center, asked Karen's father to make some sort of mechanical gadget that would help the girl to use her useless fingers. "I had been considering a hook for Karen's use," Dr. McKibben said last week. "But Dr. Nickell suggested some kind of mechanical 'muscle' instead."
Vital Valve: After studying hydraulic, electric, and gas  methods of moving paralyzed arm muscles, McKibben found a report from German scientists who had designed an ingenious pneumatic gadget operated by carbon dioxide, which inflated a bellows, thereby compressing the arm muscles and creating a pinching motion of paralyzed fingers. "It was simple enough to sketch a valve for the device," McKibben added. "After all, I'm in the business of making vacuum valves."
At the Rancho Los Amigos center, doctors and technicians teamed up to help McKibben perfect a workable device. As it stands now, the "muscle" is a small, rubber-lined plastic tube which lies along the paralyzed forearm and is fitted by a moving splint to the thumb and first and second fingers. When a lever is touched, gas from a 14-inch cylinder flows into the tube, causing a contracting motion, drawing the paralyzed fingers together When the lever Is touched again, the plastic tube is deflated and the fingers relax.
"The device is a wonderful source of energy. It is lightweight, simple, and safe," said Dr. Nickell.
At Rancho Los Amigos it is being used successfully on a small group of paralyzed patients. 1n New York, officials of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis announced that they would launch a crash research program in the hope that McKibben's invention will soon be adapted to move both paralyzed shoulders and elbows. The same theory, said Dr. Landauer, may be applicable to artificial limbs and to arms and legs that are weakened, but not paralyzed, thus offering new variety for the limited lives of cripples. When perfected, the gadget will cost less than $100. — From NEWSWEEK.

[Source: The Buckingham Post - Mar 21, 1958 - Originally from Newsweek (date unknown).]

It's interesting in that whilst the muscle itself was based on another German idea, it was the invention and utilization of the control valve  that made this a workable lightweight, shoulder shrugging-controlled prosthetic arm. Even today (2012), it is the control valves that add to the complexity of usage of McKibben Muscles in robotics, orthotics, and the like.  The "German idea" most likely was the development of pneumatically driven prosthetic hands and arms started in 1948 at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Heidelberg. The "Heidelberg Hand" was invented by Dr O. Häfner (Haefner).

[heidelberg pic here]

The pneumatics utilised was an expanding bellows situated within the claw-hand itself .


unknown mckibben prosthetic arm x200 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

Another "bellows" assisted arm that may have inspired or was inspired by McKibben's Arm.


mckibben life14mar1960 1 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

TIGHTENED BY ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE LEADING DOWN HER ARM. FINGERS OF A PARALYZED GIRL GRASP AND MOLD A PEN
ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE
No part of man's body is more distinctively human than his hand—and when it becomes paralyzed, few disabilities are more tragic. For years doctors have been looking for a substitute for hand muscles which would enable victims of paralysis to touch fingers to thumb and pick things up. The device above, developed at the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center in Downey, Calif., solves the problem.
The artificial muscle is a sheath of woven nylon fitted over a rubber tube. Compressed gas from a cylinder is let into it by a valve which can be operated by any still usable body part. like an elbow. The gas blows up the tube, making it thicken and shorten.
When gas is released, the muscle slims and length. ens again. The muscle is harnessed to two fingers and a thumb made rigid by braces. When it shortens, they are pulled together. When it lengthens, they move apart. This is all the device does—and all it has to do to enable the user to grasp an object and let it go. The new device, permitting paralytics to eat and even type, took years to perfect. Most of the time was spent developing the braces. The muscle itself was invented four years ago by Joseph L McKibben after his daughter (below) was paralyzed by polio. McKibben is a Los Alamos physicist, famous as the man who pushed the switch to detonate the first A-bomb.
mckibben life14mar1960 3 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

mckibben life14mar1960 4 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

[Source: Life Magazine 14 March 1960]

mckibben muscle La Tecnica Illustrata 1960 07 p4 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

mckibben muscle La Tecnica Illustrata 1960 07 p3 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

mckibben muscle La Tecnica Illustrata 1960 07 p5 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

[Source: La Tecnica Illustrata 1960_07 here]


mckibben MIjul58 x640 1957   Artificial Muscle   Joseph Laws McKibben (American)

Although the above article says the arm was invented by Dr Landauer, he was one of several who assisted in perfecting what's now called the "McKibben Artificial Muscle".  The above example does not have the shoulder-control valve as designed and built by McKibben.

[Source: Mechanix Illustrated - July 1958]


More recent comments on the McKibben Muscle:

Spinal Cord Medicine: Principles and Practice.
Lin VW, Cardenas DD, Cutter NC, et al., editors.
New York: Demos Medical Publishing; 2003.

Historic Background

The designs for upper limb orthoses were often originally developed for patients with conditions other than SCI. One of the earliest of these was the flexor-hinge hand splint. Originally designed for the polio patient, this orthosis transmitted the force generated by active wrist extension via a mechanical linkage to paralyzed index and long fingers, enabling finger closure against the thumb (10). The design of this orthosis evolved into what today is known as the wrist-driven, wrist–hand orthosis (WDWHO)—formerly called flexor-hinge splint or tenodesis splint). This orthosis offered prehension capability that had obvious application for the SCI patient. Individuals with C6–7 lesions, with strong wrist extensors and paralyzed finger flexors, could utilize the WDWHO to improve function. The orthosis harnesses wrist extensor power and utilizes the power of wrist extension to flex the fingers at the metacarpophalangeal joints against a stable thumb.

Some patients lacked sufficient wrist extensor strength to utilize the WDWHO. The development of external powered designs led to a system that utilized a CO2-powered “artificial muscle” to provide proportionally controlled prehension. This system was designed in 1957 at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in collaboration with Dr. Joseph McKibben, a physicist whose daughter contracted polio [RH-2012 and was paralysed since 1952]. Dubbed the “McKibben muscle,” it featured a rubber bladder, which was covered with a woven fabric. This unit was attached to the side of the WHO. When pressurized with CO2, the bladder would expand against the woven fabric and shorten in length. This in turn operated a linkage bar, which propelled the fingers into flexion against the stable thumb. A two-way valve, operated by shoulder shrugging, released the pressure to allow finger extension.

By the mid-1960s, smaller, more-powerful electric motors, brought a shift away from CO2 as a source of external power for upper limb orthoses. Electrical external power was coupled to the WDWHO through the use of cables and battery-powered motors. Again, there were obvious potential benefits to the patient with partial upper limb paralysis.

Encouraged by results of the work with the WDWHO, orthotists and biomedical engineers at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital undertook a much more ambitious project—a battery-powered, multidimensional upper extremity orthosis that would attempt to duplicate all major motions of the arm and hand. Designed using anthropometric measurements, this tongue-switch controlled device offered the opportunity for high-level tetraplegic patients to achieve greater independence in ADLs.

In practice, however, externally powered systems typically proved difficult to maintain. Without ready access to technical support personnel who could repair delicate electronic parts, the orthoses fell into disrepair and were discarded. Patient training was, therefore, crucial to the successful use of the orthoses. The complexity of orthotic design required a well-organized training program by occupational therapists. These two factors often proved a deterrent to continued use by all but the most committed patients.

Designs reverted to more simple mechanical components, which proved easier to operate and maintain. One design adapted prosthetic harnessing systems to the WDWHO. Upper limb prostheses have long been powered by the use of strapping systems that utilize contralateral shoulder protraction to operate a cable that opens the terminal device. This principle was applied to the WDWHO with limited success.

Current designs continue to utilize simple mechanical components, which are more easily maintained.


The Life and Times of Joseph Laws McKibben:

….McMillan travelled throughout the country evaluating cyclotrons that might be used for the project and chose the Harvard cyclotron as the best. Manley selected the University of Illinois' Cockcroft-Walton accelerator and two Van de Graaff accelerators at the University of Wisconsin: the "long tank," a 22-foot-long machine that could produce energies of up to 2.6 million electron-volts, and the "short tank," a 17-foot-long machine built by Joseph McKibben, a graduate physics student at the University of Wisconsin who accompanied both accelerators to Los Alamos.

JOE MCKIBBEN is an 82-year-old (as at 1995) retired Los Alamos physicist who made the final connections to the atomic bomb after it was suspended in its tower. He was the last to leave the Trinity site before the explosion.
McKibben, who still lives in the town of Los Alamos, spent the final night at ground zero to ensure the gadget wasn't tampered with. Mattresses had been laid at the tower base as a precautionary move in case the bomb fell, and at 2 a.m. McKibben lay down to get some sleep. He was awakened by a pre-dawn lightning storm that spattered him with rain.
He closed the switches at the base of the tower, drove 800 yards to a relay station and threw switches there, then came back to the tower. Because of the storm the test was pushed back an hour, to 5:30 a.m. Communication was difficult because scientists were using the same radio frequency as a nearby Voice of America station. Finally, he made his final connections and drove to his bunker about two miles away. Photo floodlights were turned on inside to allow cameras to record the final countdown.
Then the bomb went off.
"I had a photo flood on, but suddenly realized there was a lot more light coming in the back door," he recalled. "It was very brilliant outside." He threw one more switch to trigger instruments measuring the blast, then rushed outside 13 seconds after the bomb ignited. "I ran out and took a look at it. It was a big ball of fire, brilliantly colored and highly turbulent. The color was somewhere between red and purple." 
What was he thinking? "I felt we had been successful in our project. I knew the war would soon be over."
Four hours after the explosion, the cruiser Indianapolis steamed out of San Francisco Bay bearing a bomb nicknamed Little Boy. It was headed for the bomber base on Tinian Island in the South Pacific, where it would be loaded on a Boeing B-29 and dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6. Little Boy was not quite as powerful as Fat Man; it exploded with a force of about 16,000 tons of TNT.
After its delivery, the Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and its crew was spilled into the water. More than 500 of them drowned or were devoured by sharks.
Pieces of a copy of Trinity's Fat Man, again fueled with Hanford plutonium, were delivered by air to Tinian, assembled and dropped on Nagasaki, three days after Hiroshima. It exploded with the power of 22,000 tons of TNT.
Because of the chaos and obliteration following the bombings and uncertainty about attributing cancer deaths to radiation, estimates of deaths from the two bombs range from 115,000 to 340,000. If the latter is correct — and it is closer to the historical consensus — the two "gadgets" killed more Japanese than all the Americans killed in all the battles of World War II.
They also ended a war that had, with conventional weapons, already claimed at least 40 million people. In just one horrific example, the Japanese army is estimated to have massacred as many as 200,000 Chinese civilians in Shanghai in 1937.