ME 4182, Capstone

Capstone is the culmination of every mechanical engineering student’s time at Georgia Tech. The course consists of working on a single dedicated project throughout one full semester. Within the first week of the class, students choose their teams, submit proposals for sponsored projects, and each team develops their own non-sponsored project idea. Teams that aren’t chosen for a sponsored project use the idea they developed. Each team consists of 4-6 students and report to a supervising professor each week and update them on the progress of their project. At the end of the semester the Capstone Expo is held and each team creates a poster and video to show attendees.

My team, the Phallanges Phlexors, supervised by Dr. Gregory Sawicki, was not chosen to work on a sponsored project and instead developed our entire project from its ideation. Our project was “Design for an Assistive Glove”. The overarching goal of our project was to improve the lives of stroke patients after they finish their physical therapy to improve their paretic side. To accomplish this goal we determined that our focus should be on these patient’s paretic hand. The original premise for the project was provided by one of our teammates, who has a family member affected by stroke and mentioned that the inability to eat without help grasping utensils was difficult and embarassing for this family member.

Final CAD model of the assistive glove

The assistive glove is comprised of fingercaps, connectors, stainless steel cables, a wrist connector, a cable management system, elastic clamps, elastic bands, and a BOA closure system. To operate the glove, users turn the Boa system with their non-paretic hand which tensions the cables running through the cable management system, wrist connector and connectors on the hand. As the Boa system is turned, and cables are tensioned, the hand will close and then grip when fingers encounter an object. The cable management system, prevents the user from accidentally over-gripping an object due to the elastics in this system protecting the user through their natural give. Once the user no longer wants to grip an object they release the Boa system and the elastic placed on the back of the glove gently returns the fingers of the paretic hand to a neutral position.

From left to right: elastic clamp, wrist connector, connector, cable management system

I was directly responsible for all CAD created during this project, research regarding exoskeletons for stroke patients and grip statistics post physical therapy, presenting to our advisor each week, writing and editing parts of our paper, and editing our expo video.

Here are links to view our final paper, poster, and video.