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Vibration Suppression Drafting Arm for Tremor Patients

[+] Author Affiliations
Jose W. Mojica, Akihiko Kumagai

California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, CA

Steven Marsh

Golden Concord Holdings Limited, San Francisco, CA

Paper No. IMECE2013-65217, pp. V015T16A008; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2013-65217
From:
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Safety, Reliability and Risk; Virtual Podium (Posters)
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5644-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME

abstract

Essential Tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological condition that affects over 10 million Americans. It causes a rhythmic trembling of the body that is most pronounced in the hands. Many ET patients lose the ability to perform simple yet vital tasks, such as writing. Current writing assisting devices are not able to efficiently cancel or restrict the trembling experienced by these patients when they write. We have developed a drafting arm that diminishes the arm and hand vibrations of ET patients by dampening the motion of the pen. Our design incorporates a two-segment arm with variable dampers at its joints. One end of the arm attaches to any table while the other holds a writing device. The two dampers resist the rotation at each joint. ET patients using this tool have shown significant improvement in their writing ability in comparison to using other consumer devices available today. As the final development stage, considerable effort is being put into engineering the device to be of practical use and to function well in the everyday lives of people.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME

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