‘The Gripforce Analyser’ is an environmental and tangible device which tackles the problem of tracking changes and detecting early signs of Parkinsons in older adults through the tangible action of ‘Gripping’, which is the theme for this project.
‘The Gripforce Analyser’ works by having the user place their hands on each side of the device where directed. The device will then instruct the user to grip the pole in the middle of the box as quickly as possible when prompted. The device then quickly displays the user’s reaction time and peak grip force on the LCD screen. This data is compared against real-world medical research which showed the difference between people with Parkinsons and people without Parkinsons when completing similar tasks. This would provide users and monitors such as doctors or nurses with an insight into whether an older adult should seek further consultation with specialists if this machine shows they have signs of possibly having Parkinsons.
In particular, this device will use a load cell sensor and amplifier, LEDs, and an Arduino in the physical prototype seen above to measure reaction time (in milliseconds) and average/peak force (measured in grams). The load cell bar and a load cell amplifier will be used in conjunction with the Arduino to measure the average and peak grip force of the users during the tasks. Furthermore, the LCD screen will be coded with a time delay which will be used for the reaction time task, which will measure the time it takes for the user to move their hand from one part of the device to another when prompted. Finally, the small LCD screen will be used to display the times of the users reaction, as well as their average and peak grip force.
As this was a group project, i took on the role of team manager, and also took on jobs such as completing research and documentation, as well as helping with concept development, iterating and sketching concepts, and helping with coding so that the different components would work properly and display the necessary information on the LCD screen. Getting to manage and organise a group with a multi-disciplinary background was an exciting challenge, and proved to be a worthwhile venture, as our range of multiple skills allowed for easy role allocation, and meant that we were able to complete each task to high standard. Furthermore, because of the experience each of us have had with group work, it allowed for efficient and effective collaboration/teamwork amongst all three of us.
The design document detailing the design concept, user storyboard, contextual reviews and research, concept iteration, user testing and feedback, as well as individual reflection can be found here: Thomas Bancroft N9949526 Group Documentation Posters