Augmenting Human Dexterity
In Aug-Hum-Dex, students learn how to generate physical devices to augment human hands, arms and general dexterity. We start the class by learning to practice need-finding interviews. We then take a deep dive into human hand function and mechanization considerations relevant to smart device design. During the final projects, students utilize human-centered design approaches and read academic literature to develop investigational device concepts.
View project videos at the class’s YouTube Channel.
This is an elective course, taught in the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, open to both upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. Both CoE and non-CoE students welcomed!
This class is not being offered in the 2023-2024 academic year.
In this class, students conduct narrative interviews with participants for between 1 to 1.5 hours; this single interview is the only activity necessary to be a “need-knower” volunteer! Students then synthesize a conceptual product design based on that interview for a public showcase. Because this is an educational activity, we cannot guarantee that students will build the device of your choice, nor that the device will function realistically by the end of the semester. That said, the interview can be a rewarding experience in it’s own right and we hope to make it worth your while by providing you with the interview transcript (if you consent to recording) and the end-of-semester report of the project inspired by your experiences. The de-identified report is published online, at this website.
Every person, identity and condition welcome! Everyone uses technology every day, and so there is no specific requirement for interview volunteers. In-person interviews (local) are preferred but not required.
This semester was fully-in-person, and student team projects focused on need-finding interviews, conceptual ideation, and the development of mechatronic skills to realize a functional prototype.
A live showcase event was in Jacobs Hall room 10 on 3 May 2023 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. Those attending the live event voted for project awards. Here are the winners:
- Most likely to be commercialized: Team 1
- Best interview narrative: Team 9
- Most compelling scientific study: Team 2
- Most creative device: Team 8
- Most impressive prototype: Team 3
Students will submit written reports summarizing their class projects, and 3 minute videos at this Youtube playlist.
|Forearm Activated Bike Shifter and Braking Mechanism for Safer Hand-Cycling |
by Team 1: Todd Russell, Lexi Laufer, and Max Ries
|Fieldwork Orthosis |
by Team 2: Christian Mast, Julia Tanner, and Roy Yang
|Body Powered Finger Prosthetic Design
by Team 3: Travis Welch and Sangmin Sung
|Newtype Painting System: Preventing Repetitive Strain Injury In Gunpla Painting Hobbyists |
by Team 4: Boxuan Song, Jiahua Yang, and Romy Mastel
|Dexterity Project: Twitchy Gamer |
by Team 5: Cage Zhang, Junkai Shao, and Xinglong Li
|SoftScribe: Assistive technology to mitigate Writer’s Cramp
by Team 6: Anuj Raichura, Derrick Ma, and Phoebe Liu
|LabMate: A Forearm-Mounted Plate Streaking Device |
by Team 7: Erik Francis, Danielle Hernandez, and Lekha Duvvoori
|Jar Assistive Clipping Device for Lead Climbers with Limited Dexterity in One Hand |
by Team 8: Isadora Smith, Colin Wills, and Diego Wong
|DexPlay: Dampening Wrist Vibrations to Empower Musicians with Essential Tremors
by Team 9: Jessica Hsu, Elyse Scalia, and Colin Yang
|Haptic feedback thumb exoskeleton to reduce hypersensitivity and improve pressure feedback |
by Team 10: Joshua Lin, Shikha Shah, and Neel Shah
|Automatic Belt Fan for Cooling and Drying Sweaty Hands During Climbs |
by Team 11: Alexander McNamara, Geneivie Nguyen, and Lovre Soric
|Enhancing Esports Performance Feedback
by Team 12: Alex Eyman, Peggy Tsao, and Jerry Tang
|Hand cycle grips |
by Team 13: Nana Porter-Honicky and Shila Alizadehghobadi
|Assitive Bottle Opener for Rheumatoid Arthritis to Decrease Joint Stiffness |
by Team 14: Ariel Bautista, Johanna Bustamante Salgado, and Erchis Patwardhan
|Six-Tipped Ergonomic Braille Stylus
by Team 15: Daniel Gabriel Dapula and Mridini Vijay
Prior offerings of the course
This semester was fully-in-person! Student team projects focused on need-finding interviews, conceptual ideation and background literature, as well as the skills to physically realize a functional prototype.
A live showcase event is in-person only in Jacobs Hall room 310 on 5 May 2022 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. Those attending the live event voted for project awards (winners indicated below).
- Most likely to be commercialized: Team 7
- Best interview narrative: Team 15
- Most compelling evaluation study: Team 14
- Most creative device: Team 10
- Most impressive prototype: Team 4 and Team 7 (co-awarded)
Students submitted written reports summarizing their class projects, which are posted below, and 3 minute videos on this YouTube Playlist.
|Physical Therapy Device for Shoulder Range of Motion Recovery |
by Team 1: Yarah Feteih, Shanon Lee, and Ingrid Shan
|Happy Garden: Easy Gardening Tools |
by Team 2: Xinwei Chen, Yue Feng, and Yang Wu
|The Warm Up
by Team 3: Rafi Hanafiah and Jesse Thiara
|FlexFix: Finger tracking and notification system for hypermobility and osteoarthritis |
by Team 4: Josephine Koe, Joseph Macy, Roland Saekow
Most impressive prototype.
|The Bear Paw: A Quick-Release Wearable Device to Assist Transmetacarpal Amputees |
by Team 5: Henar Urteaga Juangarcia, Kallai Hokanson, and Zach Lima
|Fashionable 3D Printed Wrist Support for Young Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Team 6: Jennifer Farmerie, Marine Sanosyan, and Elise Scipioni
|Designing an Augmented MIDI Keyboard for a Musician with Amniotic Band Syndrome |
by Team 7: Zach Christiansen, Justin Oshiro, and Brittany Powell
Most likely to be commercialized & Most impressive prototype.
|Jar Opening Device for Humans with Rheumatoid Arthritis |
by Team 8: Adeen Bilal, Benjamin Lowe, and Matthew Wong
|SMOOTH: Reducing Hand Discomfort from Smartphone Overuse with a Control Ring
by Team 9: Adia Hu, Roo Yan, and Jingan Zhang
|Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Assistive Technology to Mitigate Repetitive Strain Injury |
by Team 10: Adit Roychowdhury and Janek de Silva
Most creative device.
|Tendon support for continued training with climbing-related A2 finger pulley injury |
by Team 11: Shaantam Chawla, Morgan LaMarca, Sheila Murthy
|Improving Range of Motion of Symbrachydactyly
through Finger Exoskeletons with Vibrotactile
by Team 12: Alex Orr, Elianna Peng, and Yuqing Wang
|Post Stroke Balance Augmentation Device to Incentives Return to Active Hobbies During Recovery |
by Team 13: Ramyani Roy and Ionatan Werner
|Assisting Partial Hand Amputees with Grasping Soft Objects |
by Team 14: Sam Cribbs, Musaiel Gebremariam, and Brendan White
Most compelling evaluation study.
|Investigating A Notifying Utensil for the Eating Needs of People with Cerebral Palsy
by Team 15: James Nguyen and Debbie Yuen
Best interview narrative.
|Symptom tracking glove for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Secondary Raynaud’s |
by Team 16: Chirasree Mandal and Sneh Jandial
|Creating a Device for Easier Trail Surveying for Users With Quadriplegia |
by Team 17: Benal Johnson and Nimit Baid
|Assistive Shaker for Bartenders to Reduce Occupational Wrist Strain
by Team 18: Austin Nguyen, Lezhou Ma, and Ruhika Lankalapalli
This semester was fully-virtual due to COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place, so the student team projects focused on need-finding interviews, conceptual ideation and background literature — skills that could be readily practiced remotely. Significant physical realization was not required, although some teams opted to do so anyway. Students summited written reports and 3 minute videos summarizing their class projects, available below.
The live showcase event was on Zoom on 6 May 2021 from 1:00 to 2:00 PDT on Zoom. Participants got the chance to watch the videos streamed live while asking questions of the students via interactive Q&A chats on Padlet: https://padlet.com/hstuart9/AHD2021
Those attending the live event voted for project awards (winners indicated below).
- Most likely to be commercialized: Team 8
- Best interview narrative: Team 6 and Team 12 (co-awarded)
- Most compelling scientific study: Team 3
- Most creative device: Team 12
- Most impressive prototype: Team 5
Student presentations can be watched at this YouTube Playlist.
|Development of a Palmar, Localized Haptic Array|
for Virtual Reality Applications
by Team 1: Nicholas Callegari, Katie Henshaw, Heya Kaakeh
|Lowered Dexterity in Gaming
by Team 2: Arsany Gad, Xiangjiu Wu, Samantha Yang
|Mirror Therapy Augmentation by EMG-EStim|
by Team 3: Marcie Diamond, Jared Farley, Priya Vijayakumar
Most compelling scientific study.
|Breathable Splint Design for Carpal Tunnel
by Team 4: Ivy Chan, Natali Gallegos, and Michelle Ramirez
|Attenuation of resting tremors via PID control |
by Team 5: Ashley Reilly, Frederick Houghton
Most impressive prototype.
|Less Twisting, Better Teeth: Ergonomic Design for Endodontist Tools
by Team 6: Justin Radatti, Loren Lee, and Nikhil Gupta
Best interview narrative.
|Over-Use Warning Glove for Carpal Tunnel|
by Team 7: Mariam Ayrapetyan, Wenny Miao, Kellen O’Rourke
|Comfort Controller Design for Improved Computer
by Team 8: Dominic Melville, Erin Chang, and Jungpyo Lee
Most likely to be commercialized.
|Supernumerary Enhancement For Hemiparesis |
by Team 9: John John Huddleston, Adam Saleh, and Bryan Wong
|IMU-Controlled Soft Orthotic for Power Grasping
by Team 10: Drew McPherson, Jason Torres, Anna Wolfe
|Addressing Dexterity Challenges in the Classroom |
by Team 11: Ian Miller, Dunja Panic, and Xiaolin Wang
|Managing the Effects of Hyperhidrosis through Targeted Air Flow Application
by Team 12: Miyuki Weldon and Franziska Barthel
Best interview narrative & Most creative device.
|A Preventative Solution for Repetitive Strain Injury |
by Team 13: Andrew Plewe, Paul Hsiao, and Tony Ngo
|Increased Hand Function Confidence
after Ischemic Stroke
by Team 14: Winnie Lai, Haohong Lin, and Himani Patel
Each project team presents their proposed study for 12 minutes; you can find the recordings at this YouTube playlist (there are a total of 9 teams each with 2-3 people). This is part of the Jacob’s Design Showcase, which is hosted remotely this year due to COVID-19. We hope that you enjoy these videos. This year, attendees were able to join us for a live interactive Q&A event on May 7 from 10a-11a on Zoom.
-- Prof. Hannah Stuart
|Project Grip: A Gamer's Passive Ergonomic Solution to Hand Fatigue and Pain -- Julian and Robert|
|Improved Grasping Ability in Tenosynovitis Patients through Increased Friction -- Renuka and Charit||Wheelchair Pressure Mapping and Alert System
-- Anthony, Julie and Kristina
|Piano Pedagogy Biofeedback Device|
-- Oliver and Leo
|Improving Composition Ability for People with Short-term Arm Injuries -- Kristen and Ryan|
|A Novel Forearm Cuff for C6 SCI Patients|
-- Erik and Cameron
|Automated Mattress Tilter: Redistributing Pressure to Reduce Bed Sores -- Carina, Hope and Bryant|
|EEG-EMG based BCI Controlled Upper-LImb Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation -- Kyelo, Annie and Ella||Parkinson's Project Proposal
-- Moriah and Ross
Two projects addressed the design of a prosthetic hand for Theo, a 5 year old. Here is some footage of these devices during the Jacobs Design Showcase.