In the Fall of 2011, our engineering team, consisting of Nimish Mittal, Sergio Gonzalez, and Matthew Nojoomi, was approached by Dr. Gloria Gogola of Shriners Hospital. She identified a patient, D, a 16 year old boy who suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). OI is a genetic disorder that causes type-1 collagen deficiency, causing D to have brittle bones, stunted growth, and reduced strength.
D is approximately 2.5 feet in height, has a reaching radius of 1 foot from his torso. Additionally he can lift a maximum of 3.6 pounds, and has a maximum hand grip force of 2.2 pounds. As a result of these limitations, he spends most of his time confined to a wheelchair, the Permobil k450, and must rely on the help of others to perform most basic everyday functions. However, D would like to gain more independence by having the ability to reach things himself. While current reaching and gripping aids do exist, they do not accommodate D’s grip strength and lifting capabilities. It is therefore our team’s goal to design an improved reaching device with a simple user interface that would allow him to improve his current reaching abilities.