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Design of Hand Mobility Aid by First Year Engineering Design Class


Campbell University, Main Street, Buies Creek, NC, USA

Page owner: Marco Sanchez

Project Overview
Project Name: Design of Hand Mobility Aid by First Year Engineering Design Class
Date Completed: 2018
Location: Campbell University, Main Street, Buies Creek, NC, USA
Project Status: Complete

Project Tags: Design Class college project

Project Team

Disciplines That Worked on Project

Biomedical EngineerMechanical Engineer
People That Made the Project Happen (e.g., engineers, scientists, etc.)
Organizations That Made the Project Happen (e.g., engineering companies, government agencies, etc.)

Project Details
About this project
The Campbell University First Year Engineering Design Team designed and tested a hand mobility aid. The Design Team worked with a woman with a semi-paralyzed left hand. Due to a brain injury, her brain could not send signals to the hand. The Team met with the woman and her doctor several times to understand her specific problem and her priorities. The Team then designed three prototypes, tested the prototypes, and improved the design.

The resulting prototype was able to help the semi-paralyzed hand open and grasp. The woman and doctor provided very positive feedback about the final design. The woman indicated she will use the prototype as a physical therapy tool to help her develop muscle memory and to retrain the brain and nerves to communicate. The size of the prototype limits its use as an everyday functional device. However, slight alterations of the design (including a 75% smaller motor) could make it lighter and smaller in size.
Who benefits from this project, and how?
The woman with a semi-paralyzed left hand received a physical therapy tool that she can use to help improve her hand functionality by developing muscle memory and retraining the brain and nerve to communicate. This should help her regain some use of her hand. In the future, the design could be altered to decrease its size so it could be worn at all times. This would help people with semi-paralyzed hands conduct everyday activities more easily.
Environmental considerations
What's unique about this project?
This First Year Engineering Design project developed a functioning prototype that is currently helping a woman improve the use of her hand.

Funding & Costs
Project cost: $
Funding notes: The cost for materials was about $200

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