Innovation for Independence

A device to help those without fine motor control/strength hold small objects

Close up of a man in a gym holding a dumbbell with a gripping aid
Publish date:
16/01/2015 - 1:08am
Last updated:
16/01/2015 - 1:08am
Author:
Active Hands

The Active Hands Company manufactures and sells gripping aids for all types of disabilities where hand function or control has been affected. We manufacture in the UK and sell online in the UK and all over the world. We also have resellers for our products in about 20 countries. Many users of our current products have requested that we develop a product to hold small items. Our current products work very well but were designed for holding large items. Our idea is for a new product that would provide fine motor gripping for many people wishing to hold small objects for accurate or delicate tasks when they do not have the hand function or dexterity to do so. Items to be held would include pens, cutlery, make up items, paint brushes and small tools. A product that solves this problem and is easy to use, cheap and versatile is currently not available. This product would use a wrist strap and palm of the hand glove type system developed form our current products. It would then use an adjustable position second section that fixes to the glove and uses two thin plastic or metal clamping teeth which are pulled together to grasp small items such as pens, paintbrushes, make up bushes, etc. The clamping system would have circular pull rings to close it similar to our existing products so that those with no hand function at all could still use it independently.

Insight & Impact

I have a personal insight into this problem. I have a spinal cord injury which severely affects my hand strength and function. I have designed and developed all the current Active Hands products. Our products have been rigorously tested and developed. They are in use by numerous Paralympians from sports as diverse as wheelchair rugby, hand biking, wheelchair racing, seated throws, archery, rowing, sailing, swimming and much more. Many of our products are essential parts of the training regimes of these athletes and there were at least 2 occasions in London 2012 where our athletes won gold medals while using our products to compete in their sports. As well as high level competitors we have many users who's daily lives are significantly improved by our products. From enabling people to access gardening, holding DIY/kitchen tools to accessing rehab equipment/gyms and enabling disabled children to ride adapted tricycles. Please see the "Recommendations" section of our website - activehands.com We are already assisting thousands of people worldwide but we know we can do more and developing these new products will enable people with other disabilities that we currently cannot help to improve their lives by participating in activities that would otherwise be impossible.

Skills needed for this project

  • Some advice in plastics moulding or high friction coating of aluminium would be useful.

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Comments

Veronica Angus's picture
I am very interested in your idea. My granddaughter has had a stroke and finds holding any thing in her hand difficult ....please keep in touch and send me information and price on your glove for holding large items...many thanks ...Veronica Angus
Rob Smith's picture
Hi, please see our current website to find out more about our gripping aids for larger objects. Many of our customers are Stroke survivors. We hope if we manage to win this prize that we will be able to develop this product. Thanks for your comment. www.activehands.com