Carpal Diem

Developing a Testing Device for Children's Body-Powered Prosthetic Hands


Member profile details

Membership level
2015-2016 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
Carpal Diem
Project Title
Developing a Testing Device for Children's Body-Powered Prosthetic Hands
Design Challenge
Current low-cost prosthetic hands for children have significant flaws, including poor force transmission, limited grip configurations, range of motion, and induction of pressure points on the residual limb of the user. People who design these hands are typically members of the “maker” community, and thus, are very adept at prototyping but often do not test their prototypes. This lack of testing can be partially attributed to a lack of testing equipment. Team Carpal Diem will design a testing device or suite to quantitatively describe the performance of body-powered upper-limb partial hand prostheses. The team aims to measure the force efficiency, pressure distribution, and grip configuration of these prostheses in order to better inform the development of new hand designs.
Design Summary
Our device can flex and extend various e-NABLE hand designs over +/- 30 degrees. This "motorized palm" is driven by a stepper motor and controlled by an Arduino. Various 3D printed objects (cylinder, sphere, thin rectangular prism), tiled with A201 Flexiforce force sensors, are used to assess the grip of the 3D printed prosthetic hand. The motor controls and sensor outputs are both visualized on a user interface displaying flexion/extension angle, total force output, and force efficiency. In addition, the user interface provides a color map of applied force.
Date Updated
Monday, April 25, 2016
Carolyn and Harrell Huff
  • Bioengineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Dr. Gary Woods
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • ECE

Team Members

Award(s) and Recognition
Best Gaming, Creative or Innovative Technology, 2016 George R. Brown School of Engineering Design Showcase and Poster Competition
Rapid Prototyping Tools Used
  • Laser Cutter
  • Dimension 3D printer
  • NI Hardware
  • Soldering Station
  • Hand Tools
  • Wood Shop Saws
  • Machine Shop- Mill
  • Machine Shop Lathe
  • Machine Shop 2D CNC Mill
  • Machine Shop 3D CNC Mill
  • Machine Shop Plasma Cutter
  • Machine Shop Band Saw
  • Machine Shop Drill Press
Facilities Used
  • Conference Rooms
  • Computer Lab or Computer Nook
  • Specialty Software
  • Printers/ Copiers
  • Wet Lab
  • Electronics Lab or Tools from Electronics Lab
Electronic Tools Used
  • Elvis Boards
  • NI DAQ
  • Arduino
  • Hand assembled Protoboard/perf board
  • Pressure sensor
  • Stepper Motor
  • DC motor
  • Digital Multi-meter
Software Used
  • Solid Works
  • IronCAd
  • Illustrator
  • NI Labview
  • C
  • Eagle
This project was sponsored by Carolyn and Harrell L. Huff, with additional support from Shell. The design work for this project was supported by the resources of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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