r.ARM: Robotic Assistive Reaching Mechanism


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Membership level
2014-2015 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
Project Title
r.ARM: Robotic Assistive Reaching Mechanism
Design Challenge
Individuals who spend a majority of their time in a wheelchair struggle to reach things. The degree to which these individuals struggle varies based on the severity of the disease. For example, individuals with strong upper body mobility, such as those with paraplegia, are able to reach objects off of the ground, but they struggle to reach anything placed higher than their arm’s length. In contrast, individuals with more severe upper body musculoskeletal limitations such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and muscular dystrophy struggle with many basic tasks such as opening doors (even with automatic buttons), operating light switches, and reaching food. In between those two categories are individuals such as those with severe arthritis who have mobility but have pain when bending and reaching. Even though these individuals have different medical diagnoses, each professed a significant interest in wanting and using a robotic reaching aid
Design Summary
The r.ARM: Robotic Assistive Reaching Mechanism is a simple, safe, and portable wheelchair-mounted robotic reaching aid. The r.ARM has 5 degrees of freedom and allows its users to reach up to 3 ft and pick up objects weighing up to 2 lbs. The r.ARM is the first device in its class and provides a simple and intuitive solution to a highly complex problem, at an affordable price point.
Date Updated
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
  • Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Dr. Oden
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • BIOE

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