Development of a model Osseo-Magnetic Link for intuitive rotational control of upper-limb prostheses

Elliott J. Rouse, David C. Nahlik, Michael A. Peshkin, Todd A. Kuiken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The lack of proprioceptive feedback is a serious deficiency of current prosthetic control systems. The Osseo-Magnetic Link (OML) is a novel humeral or wrist rotation control system that could preserve proprioception. It utilizes a magnet implanted within the residual bone and sensors mounted in the prosthetic socket to detect magnetic field vectors and determine the bone's orientation. This allows the use of volitional bone rotation to control a prosthetic rotator. We evaluated the performance of the OML using a physical model of a transhumeral residual limb. A small Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnet was placed in a model humerus, inside a model upper arm. Four three-axis Hall-effect sensors were mounted on a ring 3 cm distal to the magnet. An optimization algorithm based on Newton's method determined the position and orientation of the magnet within the model humerus under various conditions, including bone translations, interference, and magnet misalignment. The orientation of the model humerus was determined within 3° for rotations centered in the arm; an additional 6 ° error was found for translations 20 mm from center. Adjustments in sensor placement may reduce these errors. The results demonstrate that the OML is a feasible solution for providing prosthesis rotation control while preserving rotational proprioception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5676231
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Hall-effect
  • optimization
  • proprioception
  • prosthesis control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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