It is only when you are directly impacted that you can realize that very simple daily acts are sometime virtually impossible to realize for people with disabilities.

 

I realized that when my young daughter, who is suffering from a neuromuscular disorder, started to draw. She had enough strength to draw but not enough strength to take caps of from her sharpie markers. This quickly became a source of frustration for her.

 

People suffering from neuromuscular disorders (e.g. SMA) have very little to no strength in their peripherals muscles (legs, arms, hands, etc.). They are physically unable to perform many acts that unaffected people assume are very simple.  And that is problematic as those people are already highly dependent. And asking someone else help for such tasks might quickly become frustrating.

 

If we think about it, this act (taking a cap of a sharpie) that we take for granted requires multiple forces in different directions (e.g. holding the sharpie, holding the cap) and certain coordination while moving them apart.

 

This project is about building a simple electric apparatus that a person can use to remove caps from sharpies. That main target audience for this device is young children suffering from neuromuscular disorders. This idea might sounds like a joke but when you are impacted, you realize that it is those little things such as being able to draw and color a drawing alone that could help to improve a little bit the life of those children.

 

The main requirements for this apparatus are:

  • Should be usable without any physical strength. Motors will be used to overcome the lack of strength of the user.
  • Should be able to cope with various sharpie sizes and caps.
  • Should be secure!

 

Security is a key aspect if this project but regulation is another important aspect when it comes to disabled persons. And as for as I know such device wouldn’t require any certification.