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USB Interface Technology for Individuals with Limited Upper Limb Mobility

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Student Designers: Heather Anderson, Isidro Magaña, Ashley Thibodeaux, Zachary Wells (Louisiana Tech University)


Casing for the device
Casing for the device

Individuals with spinal cord injuries have limited motor function and thus have difficulties plugging USB devices into computers. We propose to replace the physical element of USB connections with magnetic force over copper leads housed in an ABS casing. This will allow for consumers to easily connect and disconnect USB devices without fine motor skills. The device has been tested for data transfer speeds to ensure it meets USB 2.0 specifications. The device has also been tested with consumers of varying mobility levels to determine overall satisfaction with the proposed solution.


We propose a device that would allow people with little to no use of their hands to connect and disconnect USB devices. This device would give people with disabilities greater independence and enhanced safety by removing the need to use the mouth or for a caretaker’s assistance to insert or remove USB devices. The device employs the use of magnets to hold the male and female sections of the prototype together to ensure a solid connection between the exposed copper leads on both sections. The female piece is designed to hold a USB device such as a flash drive securely. Because of the magnets and open lead faces of both sections of the device, the consumer must simply position the device near the male end connected to a computer to allow for magnetic force to pull the sections together and create a connection.

For full story, visit USB Interface Technology for Individuals with Limited Upper Limb Mobility