Myo-aesthetics: Low cost prosthetics for children
Isabella Sheldon & Basel Shihabi
Year of study:
There is a gap in the market when it comes to advanced affordable prosthetics. Having an affordable prosthetic is especially important for children due to the child outgrowing them. A myoelectric prosthetic is an artificial limb that is controlled based on electrical impulses from a muscle contraction. The data is collected using electrodes on the skin and is used to control the prosthesis. This research project investigates if it is possible to develop a low cost myoelectric prosthetic hand for children. This question raises a lot of challenges such as keeping it small in size and weight, whilst maintaining sufficient grip strength, with intuitive control and being low cost. The project was approached by 3D printing the casing for the prosthesis. This allowed for a low cost and light weight material as well as give children the opportunity to customize their prosthetic hand. Throughout the project multiple different methods have been tested, research and assessment on similar projects carried out, and charities have been contacted to receive feedback on the prototype. There are a few challenges ahead that must be overcome in the project in order to ensure its success, however, it provides great potential to develop a functioning hand for a child in need.