Looking back on the 2018-2019 year, we wanted to take time to reflect on our accomplishments and hopes for the future.
On the clinical side, we got to work with Shawn, Alison, and Logan. Shawn requested a device to help him carry and work with heavy power tools, so we created a custom gripper that relies on the shoulder to close. A harness will help keep the device steady.
Hopefully, the final iteration will include some portions printed with metal since it will be more secure than printing with plastic. The biggest challenge was the weight component and keeping it steady while holding and working with tools.
For Alison, we are very close to delivering her the Kwawu arm. The biggest challenge this year was getting the sizing correct and keeping the arm light for her. There was lots of experiment and work with flexible materials such as nGen Flex. The final prototype will be printed in light brown and hopefully will include a phone attachment as well for her to be able to look at and play with the phone.
Finally with Logan, we delivered a Spiderman web-shooter to go with his Halloween costume.
Additionally, we have been working to create a very comfortable socket and several other attachments to help him kayak and swim.
On the Research and Development side, our custom arm team has been at work creating an arm from scratch using CAD programs to allow for easier modification for recipients in the future. Additionally, our Neural Network team has been working to look at more efficient ways to read EMG signals and pair with the custom arm for myoelectric controlled arms. All of our custom-made devices and arms will be posted to the open source tab for all community to view and print once the arms are delivered and finalized!
On the outreach side, we have connected with the younger community through continued CAD and engineering design workshops with FEMMES and Duke Splash. Additionally this year, we were very lucky to be a part of Girl Scouts USA’s growing engineering journey by helping them design an elephant prosthetic prototype!!
We also discussed our work with alumni, engineers in industry, and educators through our conferences Construct3D and ACCelerate festival.
Our social media pages through Facebook and instagram also allowed us to connect to the general community as parents and other universities got to follow our work. We started a #humansofenable segment on Instagram where each week, one member of our club was featured to tell their experience here at Duke, their advice for incoming students, and more adventures.
Next year, we hope to continue all the work with our current recipients and take on even more as the club expands. For our Research and Development side we will hopefully include a wrist-powered and wrist-rotation custom-made device as well as a custom-socket team and maybe even explore the lower extremity. Additionally, our Neural Network team will attempt to get better EMG signal data for individual fingers moving and maybe even muscles not only from the forearm but from the upper humerus.
On the outreach side, we have made several new connections through the ACCelerate festival and hope to reach out for video conferences for middle and high schools and even collaboration on projects with other universities. We hope to return to the NC AAOP (American Academy for Orthotists and Prosthetists) Conference in the fall to see where our work stands in the O and P community right now and discuss with professional clinicians their thoughts on this growing technology.
Finally, we hope more alumni and greater community will stay involved and active through our social media, getting to know our members and what we love doing!
A huge thank you to all the help and support we got this year, especially from the Innovation Co-Lab, Jennifer Ganley, EAC/Lord Foundation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Chip Bobbert, and our wonderful members who display huge dedication each week!