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Making the Difference: Design of an Ergonomic Tool for People with Upper Limb Prosthesis

Student Team:                              

Naret Treviño, Industrial Engineering Senior Student

Alejandro Vigo, Industrial Engineering Senior Student

Verónica Báez, Industrial Engineering Special Project Student

Emmanuel González, Industrial Engineering Special Project Student

Faculty Mentors:                                                                          

 Betzabé Rodríguez, PhD

  Cristina Pomales, PhD

 Mayra Méndez, PhD

María Irizarry, PhD

Project Synopsis: 

Making the Difference: Design of an Ergonomic Device for People with Upper Limb Prosthesis is part of a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that seeks to benefit adults with disabilities. This particular project focused on designing an ergonomic device for people who have prosthetic hooks in both arms. The designed tool intends to allow the user to change a light bulb; an activity currently out of his scope due to the limited movements of his prosthesis.

This project was segmented as follows: Conceptualization, Design and Cost Estimation. During the conceptual design phase, the task of changing a light bulb was analyzed and product design specifications were collected. A robust brainstorming methodology provided four design concepts that were further evaluated to select a “champion”. The brainstorming session included high school students from the Residential Center of Educative Opportunities at Mayaguez (CROEM).

Various techniques related to Multi-Criteria Decision Making were implemented to choose the concept that best met specification requirements. Subsequently, the champion concept was developed into a final design considering safety and ergonomics. A job-order system was implemented to estimate the cost of using a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer to construct a device prototype. The production cost of the prototype was $220.59. Similar devices were not found in the market. The prototype was built and validated with an adult with prosthetic hooks in both arms.

This project was supported by the National Science Foundation contract CBET-1403753, “Making the Difference: An Industrial Engineering Capstone Design Experience to Benefit Adults with Disabilities.”

Use the following link to access: Drawing and User Manual.