Upon listening to English Professor, Dr. Andrew Rubin share his experiences as an amputee, the decision to propel into the field of prosthetics was unanimous. The simple idea of viewing an artificial limb as not just a hand or a leg but rather as a powerful tool capable of improving quality of life inspired us. As such, we propose a design that aims to thermo-regulate the epidermis at the site of the prosthetic socket via reduction of sweat, heat, and maceration of the skin.
Our project involves utilizing a Peltier cooling chip that creates a temperature gradient via semiconductors embedded within.This is used in conjunction with a heat sink to dissipate the heat. A fan is used to guide the heated air through an insulated pathway away from the prosthesis itself. To model the functionality of the device, a Grove Temperature Sensor V1.2 was utilized with a Raspberry Pi in which the lighting of an LED diode served as a positive control. To assist in visualization of the various components, including internal placement of the cooling unit, the limb and artificial forearm were 3D-modeled in Autodesk Inventor.
Throughout the hackathon, there were numerous challenges that were overcome. Primarily, setting up the packages and installing various command line tools onto the empty Raspberry Pi's provided proved to be quite time-consuming and cumbersome. Additionally, there was a continuous struggle between balancing fun events and workshops and hacking as this was all group members first major Hackathon.
That being said, we are exceptionally proud of the effort and enthusiasm we expended within the last 36 hours. Despite all challenges, our passion and collaborative skills remained intact. By meeting fellow like-minded individuals and mentors we were able to improve ourselves in professional and technical aspects.
In regards to next steps, there are a few additions we hope to elaborate on. For instance, the incorporation of moisture sensors would greatly increase sweat level monitoring precision. Also, power supply could be further optimized by running various tests and collecting data to establish the most efficient setup.
In conclusion, as proud, sleep-deprived, aspiring biomedical engineers we thank you for hosting this rewarding Hackathon.