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By Sarah Preisler, Chemical Engineering; Nicholas Lay, Electrical Engineering; Anna, Alexander King, Shiveley, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science
Advisor: Nora Honken
Presentation ID: PM_B03
Abstract: Guided by the design thinking process (empathize - define - ideate - prototype - test), the team designed and prototyped a gripper intended to assist individuals with holding objects and performing tasks that require fine motor skill. Through the empathize - design stage the team identified the needs of our target customer: individuals with arthritis or other disabilities which limit the ability to grasp and work with objects. This device has the potential to improve the quality of life of these individuals. During the ideate stage the team completed a competitive analysis and brainstormed ideas for improvement. A morphological chart was used to document ideas for different design components such as the shape for the gripper and how to open and close the gripper. After multiple iterations, a design was prototyped using the SolidWorks and 3D printers at the UC 1819 Innovation Hub. The actuation of the gripper was achieved using an Arduino broad and small motors. The product includes a gripper that extends past the fingers that is electronically controlled by a joystick located on top of a box that rests on the arm. The box contains the electrical components connected to the gripper and is strapped around the user's arm to provide the user with more stability than a traditional gripper.