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Therapeutic Gaming Controller

Mechanical Design

Designed a therapeutic gaming controller for patients with scleroderma. Utilized empathy to design a device for patients with completely different needs than my own. The controller exercised grip strength and wrist flexion while increasing patients participation in their rehab programs.

This project was my culminating project for my University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Degree. Worked with an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Scleroderma Patient to design a therapeutic gaming controller that allowed patients with Scleroderma to enjoy their rehab exercises. I performed extensive research into benchmark solutions, as well as individual and group brainstorming sessions, leading to our initial concept generation. I also performed multiple interviews with occupational therapists, physical therapists, and patients with Scleroderma. The process was extremely iterative as we were constantly integrating and developing new ideas. The final design consisted of a silicon sleeve encasing a spring mechanism that provided resistance for the patient as well as a force reading. The entire system was mounted on a joystick allowing a patient to play simple games such as Pac-Man while satisfying their therapy requirements.

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