Assistive Motor Control Device

Precedent Analysis — amyfried @ 7:37 am

Academia: “Designing Interfaces for Children with motor impairment” by Marcela Bonilla, Sebastián Marichal, Gustavo Armagno, Tomás Laurenz (2010)

I found this article to be helpful as I want to utilize computers as solutions into my final project. I am unsure of how this will occur, whether it be a developed part of the research how to utilize user interfaces or part of the final product. The research team designed software specifically for those who possess motor issues. In this study they dealt with children in Uruguay who have Cerebral palsey. In the academic article it states that “According to the teachers, the screen layout of this activity is too compact and the controls are not enough different one from the other.” (p.249). Feedback such as this will be important for a devices success to manipulate the prototype.

Industry: “Magic Arms” by Tariq Rahman, & Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (2012)

Emma has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita a disorder in which the joints are grown abnormally.The technology used to create the customized device was a Stratasys 3D printer. The Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton was already created by the Nemours Biomedical Research, but not to an adequate size for a child. The researchers created casts and molds of the child to understand what her dimensions were and how devices could be adapted for a small child. I would like to utilize the idea of customization 3d printing to be able to create a device to help those with mobility issues. User centered research is another important aspect of the video which I would like to utilize, without patient feedback I wont be able to create a product with a purpose.

Art: “Third Arm” by Stelarc (1980)

Ars Electronica 1992 – Stelarc “The Third Hand” from ars history on Vimeo.

Stelarc Third Hand

Stelarc created this performance piece as an extension of his body and performed with it from 1980 until 1998 traveling to Japan, the USA, Australia and Europe. According to the website of Stelarc (found above) “The Third Hand has come to stand for a body of work that explored intimate interface of technology and prosthetic augmentation- not as a replacement but rather as an addition to the body.” I found this piece to be intriguing as it utilizes mechanics to create a third arm. With those who are vision or motor impaired an extension of the body can allow for them to manipulate objects in a way they were unable to do previously. I think utilizing the ideas of addition as stated on Stelarcs website will allow for an integrative experience as you arent trying to fix what is already existing rather add to what you have.


I will be working towards developing a product that will again users with motor control issues. The most important aspect of this project is to find a participant to help me throughout the process. I dont want to just create a project with user-research. My goal is to have a working prototype to be shown off in December which outlines the journey of adapting the device to the users needs. I have already received the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier grant from the Studio for Creative Inquiry to hack a 3D printer to understand the benefits of rapid prototyping and how we can create customizable parts.


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