Loomio
Tue 2 Oct 2018

Micro Grant for material purchases for a simple microswitch activated gripper thumb

E
ebubar Public Seen by 291

I'll be applying for a sabbatical to create a microswitch activated gripper thumb. This would be an ultra-low cost, purposely simple design that uses a servo or dc motor to actuate a cable or directly drive the thumb in the gripper thumb prosthetic design of Skip Meetze. The purpose of this micro grant would be to provide $500 of funding for equipment costs. Based on early prototypes, this should be sufficient to purchase electronics for 8-10 mechanical gripper thumbs. This funding would be used to purchase the necessary electronics and create kits to provide to partners interested in creating, testing and providing feedback on the design. Additional plastic and other hardware costs to build the hands and any shipping costs would be covered by my current research lab budget. The requested funding is largely needed to demonstrate that interest in this project from eNABLE as an entity is high. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the sabbatical proposal for the review committee.

Happy to answer any questions anyone has. More details on the project are incoming.

#Description of Proposed Project:

I propose to invent a new form of low-cost, upper limb, 3D printed, electronically controlled prosthetic device. This device will meet a worldwide need for prosthetics for individuals with transhumeral (above the elbow) limb differences. While commercial myoelectric options exist, they are high cost and complex systems that require knowledgeable experts for maintenance, which is inappropriate for users in the developing world where the need is arguably greatest. I will use my expertise in 3D CAD iterate on a current design (the Gripper Thumb of Skip Meetze and Rochester ReNable) to create a prosthetic hand and, possibly, Ugunugu-evolved elbow system that uses simple, low-cost microswitches to detect physical muscle flexing. These microswitches will interface with a small, Arduino microcontroller to actuate motors to open the fingers of a voluntary opening prosthetic device and, possibly, to rotate a prosthetic elbow. This control system will be adaptable by designing flexible 3D printable attachment options for detecting muscle motion in a variety of locations on a users’ body (wrist flexion/extension, elbow flexion/extension, shoulder motion, bicep flexing, etc.) to control both the hand and elbow. By making this system using a microswitch to detect motion, the design should allow for the use of a variety of muscle motions for actuation, based on a user’s unique needs. To allow the use of such a system by a wide variety of users, a full suite of design instructions (including hardware assembly and software calibration instructions) will also be developed. Furthermore, a particular emphasis will be placed on simplicity to maximize the potential impact of this device.

The goals of the proposal are, therefore:

1) Research biomechanical operation of the human body to determine appropriate sites that permit sufficient physical motion of a muscle to be detectable by a microswitch.
2) Design a system that uses microswitches to detect muscle motions at a variety of locations on a user’s body.
3) Interface this switch system with motors through an Arduino microcontroller to control a voluntary opening prosthetic hand and a prosthetic elbow.
4) Create an easy to follow software calibration system so users can personalize the system to their own unique situations.
5) Create full assembly guides for hardware and software systems to the design can be recreated by eNABLE volunteers throughout the world.

#Expected results/impact:

Electronic prosthetics are highly desirable to provide functional devices for a variety of amputation cases. A simple, low-cost, lightweight eNABLE design could be transformative for a variety of cases not currently well-served by eNABLE designs, including bilateral and above-the-elbow amputees. By keeping the design low-cost and simple, it should be deployable in developing regions where the needs are high but access to technology precludes more complicated myoelectric designs.

#Estimate of work effort involved:

A detailed description of the work involved is provided in the timeline below. Briefly, it will require studying of muscle groups for placement of microswitches to allow efficient actuation of a servo motor, creating arduino simple arduino code to link motor control with button activation and creating simple guides for recreating the design.

#Estimated timeline for completion:

August-September 2019 – Study of muscle groups for identification or microswitch placement. Testing of the electronics (using microswitches to control servos through an Arduino). Coding of microswitch interface with servos through Arduino.
October 2019 – Creation of parametric, 3D-printed enclosures for microswitch sensors. Adaptation of currently available 3D printed prosthetic hand and elbow designs. Integration of microswitches into 3D printed prosthetic elbows and hands.
November 2019 – Testing of microswitch operation of prosthetic hand and elbow. Adjustment of software interface for easier calibration by volunteers.
December 2019 - Creation of hardware build guides. Creation of software installation and calibration guides. Deployment of guides to partners in the wider eNABLE community. Potential deployment to individuals in need of devices in Nicaragua through collaboration with the MU DPT program and their clinical partners.

#Names of individuals responsible for deliverables:
Eric Bubar

#Amount of funding being requested:
$500 - subject to negotiation. Intention of the grant is to demonstrate not insignificant buy-in from the eNABLE community to strengthen the competitiveness of the proposal for a sabbatical committee.

#A brief overview of my background with e-NABLE:
I have been a very active eNABLE member since 2015. I am a member of the SPC and have created and shared a variety of resources with the eNABLE Educational Community for testing functionality of eNABLE devices. I have also provided a variety of proof-of-concept videos of the mechanical gripper thumb, as proposed, on the eNABLE Facebook R&D group (https://www.facebook.com/enablemarymount/videos/683148082060085/)

E

ebubar started a proposal Tue 2 Oct 2018

Micro-Grant to fund creation of a simple, low-cost mechanical gripper thumb Closed Mon 8 Oct 2018

Outcome
by ebubar Wed 10 Oct 2018

Thanks to all for the support! This will strengthen my sabbatical proposal greatly. My intention is to actually try to complete most of this work before my actual sabbatical so you can expect progress much faster than proposed. I'll be tracking all my progress on this project in the following google doc (https://docs.google.com/document/d/15luwOBCdGK-L-oKPNekx3KjYApYlOwiIfnKp3Ohr-9M/edit) so you can follow along as you wish. I'll continue posting updates and videos as a make strides to the Facebook R and D group and welcome any feedback, comments, questions at any point in the process. Even if I don't end up being awarded a sabbatical, I'll be completing this project. Cheers and thanks for the support!

I'll be applying for a sabbatical to create a microswitch activated gripper thumb. This would be an ultra-low cost, purposely simple design that uses a servo or dc motor to actuate a cable or directly drive the thumb in the gripper thumb prosthetic design of Skip Meetze. The purpose of this micro grant would be to provide $500 of funding for equipment costs. Based on early prototypes, this should be sufficient to purchase electronics for 8-10 mechanical gripper thumbs. This funding would be used to purchase the necessary electronics and create kits to provide to partners interested in creating, testing and providing feedback on the design. Additional plastic and other hardware costs to build the hands and any shipping costs would be covered by my current research lab budget. The requested funding is largely needed to demonstrate that interest in this project from eNABLE as an entity is high. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the sabbatical proposal for the review committee.

Happy to answer any questions anyone has. More details on the project are incoming.

#Description of Proposed Project:

I propose to invent a new form of low-cost, upper limb, 3D printed, electronically controlled prosthetic device. This device will meet a worldwide need for prosthetics for individuals with transhumeral (above the elbow) limb differences. While commercial myoelectric options exist, they are high cost and complex systems that require knowledgeable experts for maintenance, which is inappropriate for users in the developing world where the need is arguably greatest. I will use my expertise in 3D CAD iterate on a current design (the Gripper Thumb of Skip Meetze and Rochester ReNable) to create a prosthetic hand and, possibly, Ugunugu-evolved elbow system that uses simple, low-cost microswitches to detect physical muscle flexing. These microswitches will interface with a small, Arduino microcontroller to actuate motors to open the fingers of a voluntary opening prosthetic device and, possibly, to rotate a prosthetic elbow. This control system will be adaptable by designing flexible 3D printable attachment options for detecting muscle motion in a variety of locations on a users’ body (wrist flexion/extension, elbow flexion/extension, shoulder motion, bicep flexing, etc.) to control both the hand and elbow. By making this system using a microswitch to detect motion, the design should allow for the use of a variety of muscle motions for actuation, based on a user’s unique needs. To allow the use of such a system by a wide variety of users, a full suite of design instructions (including hardware assembly and software calibration instructions) will also be developed. Furthermore, a particular emphasis will be placed on simplicity to maximize the potential impact of this device.

The goals of the proposal are, therefore:

1) Research biomechanical operation of the human body to determine appropriate sites that permit sufficient physical motion of a muscle to be detectable by a microswitch.
2) Design a system that uses microswitches to detect muscle motions at a variety of locations on a user’s body.
3) Interface this switch system with motors through an Arduino microcontroller to control a voluntary opening prosthetic hand and a prosthetic elbow.
4) Create an easy to follow software calibration system so users can personalize the system to their own unique situations.
5) Create full assembly guides for hardware and software systems to the design can be recreated by eNABLE volunteers throughout the world.

#Expected results/impact:

Electronic prosthetics are highly desirable to provide functional devices for a variety of amputation cases. A simple, low-cost, lightweight eNABLE design could be transformative for a variety of cases not currently well-served by eNABLE designs, including bilateral and above-the-elbow amputees. By keeping the design low-cost and simple, it should be deployable in developing regions where the needs are high but access to technology precludes more complicated myoelectric designs.

#Estimate of work effort involved:

A detailed description of the work involved is provided in the timeline below. Briefly, it will require studying of muscle groups for placement of microswitches to allow efficient actuation of a servo motor, creating arduino simple arduino code to link motor control with button activation and creating simple guides for recreating the design.

#Estimated timeline for completion:

August-September 2019 – Study of muscle groups for identification or microswitch placement. Testing of the electronics (using microswitches to control servos through an Arduino). Coding of microswitch interface with servos through Arduino.
October 2019 – Creation of parametric, 3D-printed enclosures for microswitch sensors. Adaptation of currently available 3D printed prosthetic hand and elbow designs. Integration of microswitches into 3D printed prosthetic elbows and hands.
November 2019 – Testing of microswitch operation of prosthetic hand and elbow. Adjustment of software interface for easier calibration by volunteers.
December 2019 - Creation of hardware build guides. Creation of software installation and calibration guides. Deployment of guides to partners in the wider eNABLE community. Potential deployment to individuals in need of devices in Nicaragua through collaboration with the MU DPT program and their clinical partners.

#Names of individuals responsible for deliverables:
Eric Bubar

#Amount of funding being requested:
$500 - subject to negotiation. Intention of the grant is to demonstrate not insignificant buy-in from the eNABLE community to strengthen the competitiveness of the proposal for a sabbatical committee.

#A brief overview of my background with e-NABLE:
I have been a very active eNABLE member since 2015. I am a member of the SPC and have created and shared a variety of resources with the eNABLE Educational Community for testing functionality of eNABLE devices. I have also provided a variety of proof-of-concept videos of the mechanical gripper thumb, as proposed, on the eNABLE Facebook R&D group (https://www.facebook.com/enablemarymount/videos/683148082060085/)

Agree - 21
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
21 people have voted (20%)
JO

Jen Owen
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

JS

Jon Schull
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

J

Jen
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

SD

Sandra Dermisek
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

SM

Skip Meetze
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

PB

Peter Byron
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

TM

Thanos Mitzifiris
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

I strongly agree. The combination of using a 3d printed hand with the easy to use Arduino controller and components, are ideal combination for a low cost device, accessible by all!

TO

Thierry Oquidam
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

I think Eric's idea is excellent but won't work, and hope to be proven wrong.
Using sophisticated electrodes is already difficult, using microswitches would be even more IMO.
This said, the cost difference between the two is such that it deserves the small amount of funding requested.

WM

Wayne Munslow
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

B

Bodo
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

NC

Nicholas Carter
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

LG

Leland Green
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

CC

Chad Coarsey
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

Let us know if you are lokking for collaboration or beta testing

JS

Jeremy Simon
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

GF

Goeran Fiedler
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

AT

Ashley Turner
Agree
Tue 2 Oct 2018

I think it is great... to the point that I would like to put some of my own money and support toward it.

ESL

Enable Sierra Leone
Agree
Wed 3 Oct 2018

Good idea!

P

Patrick
Agree
Sat 6 Oct 2018

I cannot wait to see this applied for those with faulty shoulders on the left arm...and instead adhere to right arm. This seems like a good root/end game in of itself, but I can see where you can take this idea and build upon it for the future!

RH

Richard Hodgdon
Agree
Mon 8 Oct 2018

KB

Ken Bice
Agree
Mon 8 Oct 2018

My chapter would be willing to participate if you would need us.

AA

Adam Armfield
Agree
Mon 8 Oct 2018

DD

Doc Davies Tue 2 Oct 2018

I vote yes.

SM

Skip Meetze Tue 2 Oct 2018

This is terrific Eric! Your proof of concept has been a very compelling demonstration. I look forward to seeing it in person at ENABLECON this week!

LG

Leland Green Tue 2 Oct 2018

Even for just the research listed, this would be a bargain. The fact that he's going to release all of this makes this an excellent deal for the community. :sunglasses: :thumbsup:

E

ebubar Tue 2 Oct 2018

Collaborators and beta testers will be welcome! I should also clarify that this idea is based on conversations and suggestions by Jon Schull, so its really a collaborative effort. I'm just standing on the shoulders of other giants to give back a little. Also to clarify on the sensors, they are MUCH simpler than myoelectrics. Think like the microswitches in your 3D printers that act as endstops. The mounting places are basically just inconspicuous locations where we can put on an armband or compression fabric that has a microswitch attached. A user can then actuate the thumb to open just by pushing the switch against something. For example, we could mount it on the inner bicep, so a user could just push their bicep against their body to open the thumb. The nice thing about arduino, is the programming will be quite simple to create a time delay so a switch can be pushed to actuate the thumb to open for a set time, so continuous muscle action or strain won't be needed. Hopefully this clarify the concept and give a better view of how simple i'm planning to go. Cheers and please provide any feedback or ideas that you'd like to see implemented!

JS

Jon Schull Tue 2 Oct 2018

This is great, and I have voted for it! However, probably by accident, this proposal allowed anonymous voting. I'm not sure that can be trusted, and I'm pretty sure its not what we want. (Eric let me know if you think otherwise) As Moderator, I've turned it off. If your vote has been nullified or lost, I apologize. In any case, please vote non-anonymously.

AJ

Asad Jabbar Sat 6 Oct 2018

Agreed, Though initiation of muscle point detection where microswitch(or emg sensor) will be placed needs to be identified and discussed as it will define the expected outcome. Available for beta testing, Good Luck

ESL

Enable Sierra Leone Tue 9 Oct 2018

Best of luck!!