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The Wolverine System: A Stabilization System for Ataxic Hands

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Student Designers: Andrea Salus, Ibrahim Bengali, Stephen Formosa, Andrew Griesemer (Northwestern University)


The prototype glove.
The prototype glove.

Ataxia is a dysfunction of the nervous system that makes gross muscle movement difficult. For our client ataxia manifests itself in uncontrollable tremors in his left hand and arm that make tasks such as typing and eating difficult. Our team was charged with the challenge of enabling a left hand dominant man with left-handed ataxia to type more easily. The system consists of a glove and wrist stand, combining both pressure and bracing to limit the shaking. On the top of the glove an air bladder and metal strips work cohesively to exert pressure on the fingers. A platform that secures the gloves with Velcro prevents involuntary motion from the wrist and arm. The end combination resulted in a system that would limit the shaking of the hand, wrist and fingers.


The design is focused on the improvement of the user’s typing. To aid the user, the device consists of a system composed of a glove and wrist stand. This system assists the user by: Stabilizing the wrist and limiting involuntary tremors, using brass strips within the fingers of the glove to oppose the involuntary movement of the fingers, and exerting pressure on the extensor tendons with an air pocket to reduce involuntary movements of the hand.

For full story, visit The Wolverine System: A Stabilization System for Ataxic Hands