Izzy: The Hand Helper is an arm brace attached to a wheelchair to help raise a person's arm. The device is meant to support someone with a disability that prevents them from raising their hand. With the help of the device, the user can ask a question or gain someone's attention. It also provides an element of physical therapy since the user's arm has to raise its self partially in order to start the process. This device is specifically designed for a freshman boy in high school who has muscular dystrophy. He has a very limited range of motion and although he can lift his arms a little, he struggles with raising his hands all the way. This has become an issue for him in class when he has a question since he is unable to raise his hand.
A lifting device below the brace functions in a similar way as a crane. This lifting device is made of laser-cut wood and contains a 3D printed brace to wrap around the arm. The part that wraps around the arm is created out of plastic that was 3D printed. A handle attached to the front of the device allows the user to secure their arm. A button in the front starts the device by turning on the motor, which pulls the attached strings and therefore, braces backward to lift the user's arm upwards.
The inspiration for this project was an 18 year old girl named Sara. She has Cerebral palsy, a disability that affects the subject's control of their own muscles, and can make it very difficult to hold things. We met with her a couple times over a two week period and she expressed a very strong passion for drawing. Sara's first way of drawing involved her using her left foot to draw, but she wanted to learn how to draw with her left hand as well. We proposed a couple designs to her which were made to help her change the color of her marker without assistance.
The one which we decided on was built off of the principle of the multicolor pen. It works in almost the same way except that instead of pens, there are markers. All four colors are held in a central compartment and connected to servos with wire. The servos are connected to an Arduino which is then connected to a set of pedals. The two pedals cycle through 5 servo positions(1 per color and an off setting) and are easily accessible by anybody. The main part fits in someones hand and can be strapped in if necessary. This devise makes it easy for her to draw with multiple colors, and switch the colors easily and efficiently.
Foundation’s connectable blocks are used to improve fine motor skills in a fun way. Numerous different shaped blocks have attached connectors and are made out of either wood or acrylics; lights are also embedded into the transparent pieces creating glowing windows.
Foundation aims to engage people of all ages who have disabilities with using and improving their fine motor skills in a way that is exciting and enjoyable. The project is specifically designed for Nico, a 15-year-old student at the Cotting School. While Nico’s exact condition has not been shared, he uses a wheelchair and has some trouble maintaining complete control over his hands and small finger movements. For example, he has a hard time zipping his jacket. This particular detail about Nico sparked the idea for fun and interactive blocks that, when used, would improve fine motor skills. Nico loves science and engineering and these blocks allow him to engage those interests as he fits the different connectors together like a design puzzle.
Basic software was used to design all the pieces: walls for the blocks and connectors. Each piece was then put together by hand. These blocks are custom-made to work on specific fine motor skills that the generic LEGOS set cannot provide. For example, a small press that does not require complex fine motor skills will connect two LEGO pieces together. However to connect the 2-inch cube blocks, rectangular prisms, and triangular prisms, they must first be arranged and then connected using one of the four connection types, requiring to either be pressed, aligned, pinched, or moved so that they fit together. When these fine motor skills have been mastered, for an extra challenge, users can try to build a three-dimensional house using every block in the set.
Although Foundation is specifically designed for Nico, it could really be used by anyone looking to improve fine motor skills and thereby their independence and high-level hand functions. Some people naturally have full range of motion and complete control over their hands; however, others have to work at it. This can really divide society, but the hope is that, by combining play with physical therapy, these blocks will allow more people to participate fully in more activities.
Foundation: Blocks that are made from Wood and acrylics to help improve fine motor skills while being engaging and fun to use. Creativity is in the hands of those who use it.
Nico, a 15-year-old who uses a wheelchair, has trouble with the fine motor skills of zippering and buttoning his clothes. Most people have complete control over the hand and others struggle to use some fingers, but control can be improved through physical therapy. Foundation is designed to make physical therapy enjoyable; it challenges users to solve puzzles with blocks. These blocks work by having different tasks to connect them. It is a different twist on the infamous legos and practising by creating different designs inevitably is practice and will improve hand control.The hope is that these blocks will make it easier for these skills to be achieved. Although designed for Nico, these blocks can be used for all ages. When noticing him struggle with zipping up jackets the Blocks came to mind when prototyping and were created into a fun puzzle to complete. These blocks are an improvement from legos because they have a sleek design and are all different with connection points.
The blocks were created in Rhino and were laser cut for fine precision. The external parts were created with Fusion 360 and were 3D printed. I was a tedious process
Aveen; The Shooting Star is a device designed to help Nico, a 9th grader at the Cotting School for disabled kids, shoot basketballs farther and with better form than before. Nico loves to play basketball and plays well, but he has trouble shooting the basketball into the standardly sized hoops because of his cerebral palsy; instead, he hands the ball to someone else, who shoots it for him. The Shooting Star provides physical therapy to try to change this and help him train his arm muscles to be able to shoot farther and with more accuracy. The device uses a 4-bracket system to grip tight around Nico's arm tightly enough not to slip off but not so hard that it hurts him. The 3D-printed brackets are strong enough that Nico can rotate his arms in perfect form without fear of the device breaking.
Shooting Star: A physical therapy device to help basketball players in wheelchairs to build strength to shoot farther and better.
Nico is a 15-year-old who loves to play basketball. But as he plays in a wheelchair, he told us it was very hard for him to reach the hoop when he shot the ball. We decided to create a device that would help him build the required strength to shoot a basketball in the hoop. It consists of creating resistance against two motions: the lifting of the arm (the shoulder movement) and the extending of the elbow (the triceps extension). Nico can add more resistance as he gets better by adding more resistance bands to the hooks. As Nico is a very independent person, this will improve his self-confidence and hopefully inspire others when they see the progress Nico made.
As a student at the Cotting School, a school for people with disabilities, E.B. uses a wheelchair and is an active participant in Waypoint Adventures, which offers hikes, rock climbing, and other adventures for people with disabilities. Participants have to borrow all-terrain wheelchairs, and E.B. has found them to be uncomfortable and tiring to self-propel. Freedom Skis take a wheelchair already custom-fitted to the user and adapt it so that it can be pushed over the varied, snowy terrain by an able-bodied person. This allows the user to experience the joy of skiing instead of focusing on propelling themselves through the snow. E.B. has never been hiking in the snow, partly because Waypoint's existing wheelchairs for skiing in the snow are uncomfortable for her, an issue that Freedom Skis solve. Existing ski chairs are also expensive for families who do not have access to a program like Waypoint.
Freedom Skis improve on current options in several ways. Designed to be affordable for everyone and to allow more families to experience the joy of winter and skiing together, Freedom Skis were made mostly of PVC, 3D-printed connectors, and used skis, keeping the cost under $100, whereas the current ski wheelchairs on the market cost in the thousands. Freedom Skis also improve on current options by incorporating a system of springs that helps absorb shock for a smoother ride and allow the skis the necessary vertical freedom to navigate uneven trails, but not so much that the skis get caught in holes and come out from under the chair. Lastly, all of the current ski wheelchairs force the user to move from their usually custom-fitted chair into a different chair not designed with comfort in mind. Freedom Skis keep down costs and the user comfortable by using the user's own wheelchair. They also help normalize having a disability by allowing people who use wheelchairs ski, a popular and fun winter sport.
People with disabilities often face unnecessary limitations in their activities, due to a lack of innovative, affordable design to meet their needs. EB is a client who loves the outdoors and exploration but is in the the wheelchair. She has expressed that on these hikes her legs become sore and stiff because it is not her personal chair. These chairs are often not durable, efficient,comfortable, or affordable. Freedom Skis takes EB’s original chair and transforms it into a snow terrain chair. This adaptation allows EB to stay comfortable while allowing her to explore.
The basic design of the project uses PVC piping, skies, springs, and two to three pieces of three-dimensional modeling. There are two bigger skies that are on the back which [remove words wherever you can without sacrificing meaning] give support and stability and two front skis that help with steering. Each individual ski has its own suspension system, which allows helps with rough terrain and limits rotation of the skis. The four skis are screwed in with bolts that would normally be used for the wheels. The goal of the design is to provide the easiest way to put on the skis while still having efficiency, stability, and durability.
Nick's Brief: The Drum Garden: a device that brings a drum set to a wheelchair without having to carry around big and heavy equipment. The Drum Garden was designed for Sara, who is a teenage student at the Cotting School and she has cerebral palsy. This device is designed to help her be able to drum without getting out of her wheelchair. She has difficulty with holding onto things and sometimes with controlling her muscles. She can use her left foot really well; in fact, she writes and makes paintings with her foot. She has the same a good sense of humor and social awareness, as any teenager and she has a lot of energy. When asked her if she was interested in anything musical. She said, “Drumming”. The Drum Garden is not a regular drum set. It attaches not only to Sara’s wheelchair, but also to other drums . A wire is connected to Sara’s wrist by a conductive fabric wristband which all connect to a computer. The computer provides the sound by a through makey makey software. Using PVC pipes, connected to a drum frame and a clamp for other drums, the makey makey wires go along the pipes while being connected to conductive fabric which comes back to the circuit . Sara controls what sound and rhythm is through the pads and pedals. The drums can help not only Sara, but anyone who wants to drum but has trouble with their muscles or is in a wheelchair that can't drum on a real kit. The hope is to highlight the way music enriches people’s lives and that it is something anyone can engage in, This reminds people that music is everywhere and anyone can play music. It shows how important music is and it is possible to give that to anyone, no matter what physical difficulties one has.