As the 2017-2018 school year draws to a close, we would like to review what our club accomplished and share some of our hopes and goals for the coming year.
Three successful devices were delivered: one K1 hand with pinching capability and a fork holder for Brooke, one gripper thumb alteration with a harness design for Chris, and one Unlimb-ited Arm for Nathan. Additionally, we are closing out with Kaylyn (modular attachments) and hope to have final designs through the summer.
Our community involvement has increased this year and we have loved engaging with generations both younger and older. In events partnering with Duke FEMMES and Splash, we challenged students in K-12 education to engage in the creative design process and introduced them to 3D printed technology. Meanwhile, alumni engagement and participation at the NCAAOP Conference allowed us to take part in intellectual discussion on the open source contribution to 3D printing technology.
Additionally, our research and development branch has been working steadily towards creating a myoelectric arm. This year, we successfully captured EMG signals with a Myoband, and used the real time data to control a motor through an Arduino. The electrical team also made progress on a robust system to analyze signals with a Raspberry Pi. Our materials testing with PETG, Nylon, T-Glase, etc. has allowed us to expand our works from hands and arms to possibly legs, fingers, and other adaptive devices.
Near the end of the year, we also gained two new recipients! First is Alison, a young girl who seeks a lightweight device to perhaps grab or hold things. Her device will always be ongoing because of her growth, and we look forward to working with her through the years.
Our second recipient is Shawn C, who was born without most of his left hand. He never has relied on a medical grade prosthesis because he finds them heavy and bulky. However, as he is pursuing a career in plumbing, he came to us seeking something that could assist in carrying, holding, and gripping heavy objects. We hope to create something durable yet convenient for him!
Looking into the future, we hope to work closely with these recipients and continue exploring our research and development projects. The club plans to continue its community outreach and attend an additional conference next year, Construct 3D (https://www.construct3dconf.com/) for the latest 3D printing technology and networks. This will allow us to gain different perspectives on the world of open source devices, to complement what we learned at the NC AAOP Prosthetic conference last fall.
Finally, our executive team has transitioned leadership, and we are excited to welcome in the new executive board– Iris Chang as President, Gaurav Uppal as Vice President, Ian Eldridge-Allegra, Jake Robinson, and Jaydeep Sambangi as Senior Project Leads, and Claire Niederriter and Jason Chou as Project Leads. We will miss our seniors: Emily Shannon, who will be pursuing her Master’s degree at University of Pittsburgh’s O&P school, Joel Tewksbury, who will be attending the University of Chicago in Molecular Engineering, Gabriel Antoniak, who hopes to pursue graduate studies after a year of research at Duke, and Drew Levy, who will be interning in Houston before attending medical school later.
We want to give a shout-out to all our supporters and partners who have allowed us to grow so much this year, including Duke University’s Innovation Co-lab, Engineering Alumni Council, Lauren Stulgis and Dr. George Truskey, The Center for O&P Care, and many more organizations and people. We hope to accomplish even more in the future, and can’t wait for the adventure!