In North America alone, there are over 58 million people of all ages experiencing limited hand mobility. Our team strives to better facilitate the daily life for people who have the daunting task of overcoming their disabilities. We identified a disconcerting trend that rehabilitation options for people with limited motor function were too expensive. We challenged ourselves with developing an inexpensive therapeutic device to train fine motor skills, while also preserving normative routines within daily life.
What it does
Xeri is a custom input device. Xeri allows for the translation of simple gestures into commands for a computer. Xeri requires a user to touch a specific digit to their thumbs in order to perform actions like right click, left click, scroll up, and scroll down. This touching action stimulates the muscle-mind connection enhancing it's ability to adapt to changes. With prolonged and consistent use of Xeri, patients will be able to see an improvement in their motor control. Xeri transforms the simple routine action of browsing the internet into a therapeutic medium that feels normal to the patient.
How we built it
Xeri is composed of ESP32 Core v2, MPU6050 Gyroscope, four analog sensors, and four custom analog contacts. The ESP32 allows for bluetooth connection, the MPU allows for tracking of the hand, and the sensors and contacts allow for touch control. Xeri was developed in three prototype stages: P0, P1, and P2. In P0, we developed our custom analog sensors for our hands, created a rudimentary cardboard brace, and determined how to evaluate input. In P1, we replaced our cardboard brace with a simple gloved and modified to fit the needs of the hardware. In P2, we incorporated all elements of our hardware onto our glove and fully calibrated our gyroscope. Ultimately, we created a device that allows for therapeutic motion to be processed into computer input.
Challenges we ran into
Xeri's development was not a trouble-free experience. We first encountered issues developing our custom analog contacts. We had trouble figuring out the necessary capacitance for the circuit, but through trial and error, we eventually succeeded. The biggest setback we had to mitigate was implementing our gyroscope into our code. The gyroscope we were using was not only cheap, but the chip was also defective. Our only solution was to work around this damage by reverse-engineering the supporting libraries once again
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our greatest achievement by far was being able to create a fully operable glove that could handle custom inputs. Although, Xeri is focused on hand mobility, the device could be implemented for a variety of focuses. Xeri's custom created analog contacts were another major achievement of ours due to their ability to measure analog signal using a Redbull can. One of our developers was very inspired by what we had built and spent some time researching and desiging an Apple Watch App that enables the watch to function as a similar device. This implementation can be found in our github for others to reference.
What we learned
During the development process of Xeri, it was imperative that we had to be innovative with the little hardware we were able to obtain. We learned how to read and reverse-engineer hardware libraries. We also discovered how to create our own analog sensors and contacts. Overall, this project was incredibly rewarding as we truly developed a firm grasp on hardware devices.
What's next for Xeri?
Xeri has a lot of room for improvement. Our first future development will be to make the device fully wireless, as we did not have a remote power source to utilize. Later updates would include, a replacement of the gyrosensor, a slimmed down fully uniform version, being able to change the resistance of each finger to promote muscle growth, and create more custom inputs for more accessibility.
Log in or sign up for Devpost to join the conversation.