The Stand Assist:
An assistive device to bring more independence to the elderly by helping them stand up from a sitting position with more ease and comfort.
Modern society does not do enough to assist the elderly and care for their mental health, as much of the elderly population struggles with feelings of helplessness. The Stand Assist is designed to combat these issues and enable the elderly to feel empowered and independent. The Stand Assist was designed for a client named Prisilla, who was severely weakened by a seven month long coma. Due to her weakened muscles, she has extreme difficulty getting up from a chair. It can take her ten tries to fully stand up, as she attempts to build momentum and throw her body forward, catching herself on her walker. The device uses her momentum and then actuates to assist her to rise into the standing position. The design of the device is minimalist and elegant to appeal to a very proper Prisilla, who was reluctant at first to use an assistive device.
Although it was designed with Prisilla in mind, the Stand Assist is an assistive device that can empower many elderly people who struggle getting up. The improved design fits as two knee braces connected across the legs at the knee joint. The motors on the outside of each brace are started by a single switch, which straightens the braces until they are fully extended, pushing the user from a sitting position to a standing position.
Oliver Trejo's Brief
The Soft Robotic Hand with Thumb is a prosthetic hand made of 3D-printed parts and silicone. The usage of soft robotics allows the hand and its digits to be compliant, which means that the hand can grab soft objects, without needing a complicated feedback loop. A pump system bends the fingers by using a specific inflation technique. The original design of the thumb did not cover all of the axes of rotation needed to make the thumb opposable and with a full range of motion. The new tri-chambered design uses three inflatable pouches to bend and extend the thumb, which makes it a rather complex device. Because this style of thumb has not been fully explored before, so it requires using pre-existing knowledge of the different actuators to better understand how the thumb functions.
The thumb is an integral part of human evolution; without it, humans would not have been able to make and use tools, hold round objects, among other things, or throw things to hunt or defend themselves. The Soft Robotic Hand helps people in need of a prosthesis who work in an agricultural setting. Since the hand is soft, the user can pick up fruits and vegetables without harming them. It is also very versatile since it can be scaled up and recast, without having to reinvent the tolerances and design, so anyone can use it, no matter their size.