Compagnie Press “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him…..”
9 February 2007
DATE 9th FEBRUARY 2007
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him…..”
During the 1970’s every playground across North America and Western Europe would have seen schoolboys running in slow motion and supposedly seeing unfeasibly small objects many miles away. There was also a special sound effect from the boys that went something like “Da-da-da-da-da……” (I guess you had to be there). The phenomenon was due to a hugely popular TV programme ‘The Six Million Dollar man’ about a USAF test pilot whose limbs were replaced by bionics following the crash of his fighter jet. Since then a lot has changed – small boys don’t crave to be Steve Austen; $6M doesn’t seem that big a number for an R&D programme and the technology behind bionics is no longer science fiction any more.
University and Medical Researchers in USA have now developed technology that allows amputees to actuate their prosthetics using the tiny electrical impulses that their brain would naturally produce to actuate their arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes. However, until recently the sensors necessary for operation with the brain with feedback to tell it about what was going on at the person’s fingers, for example, was hugely problematic. Whilst some sensors were available in theory, in practice they proved to be too insensitive, too bulky or too expensive for widespread deployment.
Whilst the obvious application for such sensors was for prosthetic fingers and hands the use of such sensors in a person’s prosthetic foot are equally important to assist amputees in balancing and fine motor control using their feet (as required for dancing, skating or skiing).
A low profile version of Zettlex’s technology is now being used in prosthetic fingers and provide electronic, closed loop feedback control to the brain’s motor control functions. An array of sensors is being used that is actually made from multi-layer, flexible printed circuit board.
A version of the technology to also provide information on temperature is also under development.
The research is currently at laboratory evaluation level but commercial application of the technology could be as close as 2 years away.
Notes for editors
Zettlex Ltd. is based in Cambridge, UK and is a high technology sensor company. The company aims to exploit commercially a unique collection intellectual property through the supply of sensors, sensor components and engineering contracts.
Further information is available from:
Zettlex UK Ltd.
Newton Court Newton Cambridge CB22 7PE Email email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS:- Zettlex is a sensors company.Our non-contact position sensors measure accurately & reliably even in harsh conditions - hence our motto - 'Precision in the Extreme'. We
- Design & make position sensors
- Supply sensor components - notably integrated circuits for inductive position sensors
- Develop non-contact sensing solutions to customer requirements.
Unique technology and laminar, printed construction enables inductive sensors with no contacts, no bearings, no delicate parts, no maintenance, no bother.....just accurate measurements - all day, every day.
We sell our sensors to OEMs and system integrators in a range of sectors. About half of our business is for safety related or safety critical control systems and we are familiar with the demanding requirements of industrial, aerospace, defence, oil & gas sectors. We can supply fully documented and qualified sensing solutions to DO-254 and DO-178.
Applications include position measurement, user interfaces, servo controls & motor encoders. This covers linear transducers and rotary encoders as well as measurement of 2D displacement, 3D displacement, multi-turn angle, tilt, weight, pressure, vibration, strain and flow.
Zettlex inductive position sensors are an economical, lightweight and robust alternative to potentiometers, optical encoders, rotary encoders, resolvers, RVDTs, LVDTs, magnetic sensors and capacitive encoders.
Zettlex is ISO 9001 and BS EN 13980 certified for the manufacture of position sensors including intrinsically safe ATEX transmitters and position feedback controls for potentially explosive environments.