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Research

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IxD students are involved in both individually-motivated and faculty-driven research projects. This page documents the results of an ongoing, faculty-driven research project involving the design and development of assistive devices for children with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC).

These devices have been developed in collaboration with orthopedic surgeons, occupational therapists and physical therapists from Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Children plus individuals and families who live with this condition everyday.

Assistive Devices for Children with AMC

AMC is described as a congenital joint contracture in two or more areas of the body. We primarily focus on the upper extremities (arms and hands) and enabling activities of daily living, such as feeding oneself. The severity of this condition varies from person to person and AMC itself is not directly associated with any cognitive deficiencies.

Caleb Trotter
Assistive Feeding Device

​After observing the children eat through video recordings I noticed the biggest issues were scooping food from the bowl and then delivering it into their mouths. Parents disliked it when their child would place their whole face in the bowl to eat. If the food was delivered to them then this would not be an issue. Other home feeding devices that are motorized cost thousands of dollars like the Obi. I wanted to create something lightweight and affordable to parents because as the child grows they get better motor control within their bodies and as a result these devices become obsolete.

Materials include: Arduino-controlled servo motor, lasercut wood and acrylic, 3D printed spoon and bowl plus misc. hardware.

See all of Caleb's work at ​https://calebchanning.com/

Bethany Comegys
Assistive Eating Device

​I created an on-the-go snacker that can attach to a child's forearm, or clamp to most tables, wheelchairs, and car seats. To use this device, children use their chin to push the bowl down and dispense dry foods into their mouth. A spring then returns the bowl up.

Materials include: 3D printed bowl, spring, arm strap and flexible wire.

See all of Bethany's work at http://www.bethanycomegys.com/

Jordan Sawyer
Assistive Feeding Device

Many people with AMC do not have functional bicep muscules, but do have triceps, so I created a system of a wearable device [Pulley Backpack] that raises one arm when a child pushes the other down. This is in conjunction with custom 3D printed spoons (only one shown below) with uniquely shaped handles that are easy to hold and prevent spilling.

Assistive Feeding Device

Backpack materials include:  pulley, paracord, and arm straps

Spoons are 3D printed from 3D models.

See all of Jordan's work at https://www.jordanesawyer.com/

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Research
  • Department of Art & Design
  • 104 Recitation Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2244
  • artdepartment@udel.edu