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PC Hand II

Participants:

  1. Luis A. Martinez
  2. Matthew Talarico
  3. Randolph Arends
  4. Smit Shah
  5. Bunmi Olaloye

Advisors: Dr. BuSha

Over 450,000 Americans currently suffer from diseases that result in muscle weakness and are characterized by loss of strength and dexterity in the skeletal muscles that control hand movement.  An orthotic exoskeleton was designed and built last year that actuated pinching and grasping motions using three moveable digits.  Human testing highlighted the limitations: lack of variability, inability to actuate a constant force, poor sensor calibration and lack of portability. The goal of this project was to successfully design and build a unified system that is a significant improvement on the existing design. This design implements a strap based fitting system into the hand, and a simplified linkage system. A calibration system mounted on the exoskeleton allows the subject to easily change the sensitivity of the sensors. A CSTAMP controller replaces the LabView based control system, reducing power consumption and size to run the entire system off of rechargeable battery cells. By making these additions to the PC Hand project, the team’s goal was to create a product that can be utilized independent of an external personal computing device and be worn comfortably by a patient in order to improve their quality of life. The team presented their completed project at the Northeast Bioengineering Conference at Columbia University.

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