Development of an online prosthesis design and education platform with Autodesk
Different regions of the world have unique approaches to developing prosthetics devices depending on resource availability, patient demands, and practical methods. Numerous online learning resources are available for amputees and prosthetists to gain a more comprehensive understanding of prosthetic limbs. However, most of these resources are hard to access and they do not provide sufficient up-to-date information. While CAD is becoming popular for prosthetic design, it has not reached a level at which a prosthetist feels confident enough to abandon the conventional methods of creating a prosthetic socket. This project aims to develop an online cloud-based design and educational environment for prosthetists and amputees that not only encourages the use of digital tools, but also fosters a community around developing innovative solutions in prosthetic design.
Led by David Sengeh, David Hill, Arthur Petron, and myself (all graduate students in the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab) we developed the first iteration of a design “cookbook”, shown below. As part of running a design workshop at the Nairobi iHub in May 2014, we began to test some of these ideas in the field. A short video summary of our project there can be viewed below:
The project has been continued by David Hill, myself, and several undergraduate researchers. One of our researchers, Claudine Humure, took aspects of the project to the next level by completing an internship at Autodesk; her story can be seen below:
We are also exploring implementation strategies, one of which aims to use Autodesk Forge and Autodesk Fusion 360 as a means of developing user interfaces with design and education.
In addition to those mentioned above, several students have been involved with this project over the years including: Nalini Singh, Ruby Maa, Jiwon Park, and Elizabeth Gallardo. The Autodesk team has offered phenomenal support for this work. Specifically, Sunand Bhattacharya, Tanner Reid, Michael Aubry, Erica Nwankwo, Carsten Hochmuth, and Mike Alcazaren.