Prosthetic device for monkey bars and gymnastic equipment

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University of New Brunswick


Currently, there are upper limb prosthetic attachments that allow an amputee to perform tumbling activities such as a cartwheel or a back handspring. There are also products that allow amputees to swing on the monkey bars, or on gymnastics equipment. The major issue is that there has yet to be a product capable of performing both tumbling and swinging/hanging tasks. The objective of this project is to design and manufacture an upper limb prosthetic device that would allow an amputee to perform both tasks. It’s very inefficient for someone to have to remove their prosthesis and replace it with another one whenever they want to change activities. The two current devices were designed by TRS and they are the Shroom Tumbler and the Swinger TD. The Shroom Tumbler is the shape of a mushroom, and can withstand up to 200lbs (890N). The Swinger TD is a hook shaped device capable of withstanding 300lbs (1335N). The new prosthetic device will need to combine the concepts of these two devices. The primary goal is to give the user the ability to do gymnastics and play in a playground similarly to a normally limbed child. The new design should have as many biomechanical similarities to a natural upper limb as possible and must be the appropriate length to suit the user. The length of the prosthetic attachment must be carefully designed to ensure it matches the anatomical length of the user’s normal limb when swinging and when tumbling. Also, the choice of material is very significant to ensure the appropriate weight, flexibility, and to maximize the safety of the user and anyone near the user. Incorporating both devices into one will require the hook section to either rotate or slide into position to change from tumbling to swinging activities. The current design idea resembles the shape of the Swinger TD with the Shroom located on the back of the hook section. The hook section will have a rotational joint at its base that can rotate the hook downwards to bring the Shroom down to the appropriate position.