Helping arm developed at Cambridge University


15-05-2001

Engineers at Cambridge University have developed a new 'helping arm' for

people with muscular weaknesses like Motor Neurone Disease.

The device attaches to the back of a wheelchair supporting the user's

arm in a sling.



It enables them to move their arm back and forth more freely, using

their own muscle power.



The sling can be lifted up and down using an electrically powered

mechanism controlled by a switch operated by the person's free hand.



It was developed by Samuel Lesley, Prof Roy Farmer and Dr Tom Bligh in

Cambridge University's engineering department. The team is collaborating with design firm Neater Solutions to make a marketable version.



Mr Lesley said: 'It has the potential to give people with diseases such

as muscular dystrophy a greater degree of independence, and it can also

help exercise joints and muscles.'

 

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)