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Mechanical Design Improvement of a Passive Device to Assist Eating in People Living with Movement Disorders

10/14/2020
by   Michaël Dubé, et al.
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Many people living with neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, stroke, muscular dystrophy or dystonia experience upper limb impairments (muscle spasticity, loss of selective motor control, muscle weakness or tremors) and have difficulty to eat independently. The general goal of this project is to develop a new device to assist with eating, aimed at stabilizing the movement of people who have movement disorders. A first iteration of the device was validated with children living with cerebral palsy and showed promising results. This validation however pointed out important drawbacks. This paper presents an iteration of the design which includes a new mechanism reducing the required arm elevation, improving safety through a compliant utensil attachment, and improving damping and other static balancing factors.

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