Novel Design for a Simple and Affordable End-Effector for an Upper-Limb Prosthesis

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Shawn Jackson
Victoria Volk
Jodi Prosise


An affordable prosthetic arm was designed to be used in underprivileged areas to allow more upper-limb amputees to have access to prosthetics that can help them regain their independence. The primary user of the prosthesis will be the amputee(s) who receive the device; beneficiaries include the amputeeā€™s family and the community involved in the manufacturing of future prostheses. The customer requirements include cost-effectiveness, the ability to withstand humidity, cleanability, low maintenance, long life, lightweight, and the ability to perform simple tasks independently. A new end-effector was created that meets the range-of-motion required for the user to perform his/her required tasks. The end-effector is comprised of a PVC cap, PVC coupling, wooden ball holding the tool, and two wooden stop rings. The device screws onto the forearm PVC pipe and locks into place. Four end-effectors were created: toothbrush, fork, spoon, and pen. A change-out station was created to allow the user to independently attach and detach the different end-effectors. The total cost of the device was $20.66.

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