Google Science Fair: A 3D-Printed Exoskeleton That Can Train a Paralyzed Hand to Move Again – IEEE Spectrum


October 1, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


Rebuilding fine motor skills after a stroke takes intensive therapy involving repeated attempts to use the affected hand, several times a day, day after day. Some involve moving the affected fingers with the other hand until new brain pathways for hand control develop. Zain Samdani, a 16-year-old from Saudi Arabia and a finalist in the 2016 Google Science Fair demonstrated a different approach at the finalist showcase on Tuesday.

Samdani, who says he’d seen family members struggling with hand rehab, built an exoskeleton out of 3D-printed segments. He connected that to a glove, wired to control the robotic device. The patient, he says, can wear the glove on the functional hand, and use that hand’s movements to retrain the paralyzed hand. [See video, above.]

In early tests on patients, Samdani reports, the exoskeleton led to levels of improvement in a day that physical therapists wouldn’t typically see for weeks.

Rebuilding fine motor skills after a stroke takes intensive therapy involving repeated attempts to use the affected hand, several times a day, day after day. Some involve moving the affected fingers with the other hand until new brain pathways for hand control develop. Zain Samdani, a 16-year-old from Saudi Arabia and a finalist in the 2016 Google Science Fair demonstrated a different approach at the finalist showcase on Tuesday.

Samdani, who says he’d seen family members struggling with hand rehab, built an exoskeleton out of 3D-printed segments. He connected that to a glove, wired to control the robotic device. The patient, he says, can wear the glove on the functional hand, and use that hand’s movements to retrain the paralyzed hand. [See video, above.]

In early tests on patients, Samdani reports, the exoskeleton led to levels of improvement in a day that physical therapists wouldn’t typically see for weeks.

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