A New Concept Gripper designed for a Wheelchair-Mounted Robotic Arm
Upon arriving at Middlesex, I wasn't really sure what area in the Design/Engineering community I wanted to work in. A Heavy exposure to Mechatronics in my second year made me realize where my passion really lay.
I retain general interests in Design and Engineering, but my real excitement lies is within the rapidly growing Robotics community. My interests within this field are systems that provide Assistance and Rehabilitation in application, however I am still a very firm believer that Robotics has a massive scope of potential within many aspects of the Human Society.
My Degree Project falls into the field of Rehabilitation Robotics. In short, my brief was to Design and Develop a new Robotic "Gripper" for a Wheelchair Mounted Robotic Arm (WMRA) for use by severely Disabled Individuals with little or no movement or their upper extremities with the aim of increasing their autonomy and personal abilities within our society.
My Initial Research took to to the Netherlands on two occasions. Firstly to visit Exact Dyanamics, manufactures of the Manus ARM and world leader in this specific technology. I later then met with a user of the Manus system in order to gain a high understanding of the their perspective on the system.
The final system has functionalities that allow the user to achieve a much winder range of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) that would previously require assistance from a carer or be impossible, such as turning pages of a book, opening bottles/jars and manipulating very small objects.
A Patent has now been applied for and is awaiting results from the UK Intellectual Patent Office.