Rice Helping Hands



Member profile details

Membership level
2011-2012 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
Rice Helping Hands
Project Title
Design Challenge
Cerebral palsy results in the reduction the functional use of the patients’ wrist. Following surgery, patients must undergo physical therapy in order to gain control of these limbs. The aim for our senior design team is to create a rehabilitation device that both positions the patient’s limb and senses forces in order to build and measure the patient’s strength. The device will be able to prompt the child via a computer game how to adjust their movement to achieve the correct movement.
Design Summary
Designing a Wrist Rehabilitation Device for Pediatric Cerebral Palsy Patients

The team has created a design for the overall device which has five major components (force sensor, arm restraint, stand, hand restraint, GUI) that are being constructed simultaneously. The most significant advancement has been the construction of the Maltese cross for the force measurement device. The team built the core sandwich design, applied eight strain gauges in a quarter Wheatstone Bridge configuration, and secured the electrical components. The team has tested the device and determined a calibration matrix to determine the patient’s applied force. For the arm restraint, vacuum bags filled with couscous are used to contour to patient’s wrist once the air is removed. The team visited the CP clinic at Shriner’s Hospital, tested the arm restraint on patients and found that the team should have 3 interchangeable sets of vacuum bags of various sizes to sit in the half pipe to best accommodate the varying arm circumferences and forearm lengths of patients. The team created cotton covers for the bags that can be washed for easy sterilization in between patients. The support arm connecting the half pipe to the device was mounted to the stand and is adjustable in multiple heights and directions. The team ordered a custom piece of acrylic to serve as the table top on which the remaining components can be mounted. The team procured table legs and locking wheels with castors that fit the height requirements specified by Dr. Gogola. The arm restraint was attached to a steel track that was mounted on the table. The steel track provides adjustability across the table top to allow correct positioning of the shoulder. The next component of the device is the hand restraint. The design has been finalized and lobster clips have been attached for ease of application to the patient’s hand. Fishing wire is used to connect the force sensor to the hand restraint. The use of specially designed bolts allows for the wire to be adjustable depending on the patient’s height and hand posture. Lastly, the team has created a GUI using NI LabVIEW to read and process strain gauge measurements. The team has created a VI with LabVIEW to properly read the strain gauges from the force sensor and determine the patient’s applied force. The team is working to test the device in clinic with the help of Dr. Gogola. Over the summer, the device will undergo clinical trials.

Updated April 22, 2012.
Jim Davis and Janice Bucholtz
  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Maria Oden
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Marcia O'Malley
Award(s) and Recognition
ASME 2012 Summer Bioengineering Conference- Undergraduate Design Project Competition in Rehabilitation and Assistive Devices

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Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

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Phone: 713.348.OEDK

Email: oedk@rice.edu

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