E-Nabling the Future community is a group of volunteers whose aim is to help those who do not have full use of their hands; for example, young Keegan who was born with a thumb but no fingers on his left hand.
Keegan’s mother, Nancy Bair, discovered the e-NABLE group, and shared her son’s photo and story with them. The first model Keegan wore, was made by Ivan Owen. It was a prototype version of the Talon Design. This design is for children who have thumbs that are functional and so they do not require a full 5-finger design.
Recently, e-NABLE created a new child-friendly version and two students from Churchill High School in Oregon are using the new school 3D printer to make a hand for Keegan, using their new design.
The new design allows Keegan to participate in activities that require two hands. For instance, catching a ball, fishing, and riding a bike all require a two-handed grip.
Keegan’s mother has now requested a hand that will allow Keegan to hold cards. Nair wrote: “Hello all! I was wondering if anyone has come up with a design so that the kids could hold cards. Keegan always has a difficult time playing Uno, and Go Fish because he can’t see all of his cards at once. He keeps them in a pile and has to look through it every turn or all turned up on the table behind a book or whatever we have handy. It would be really cool and functional. What do you think? Thank you so much!
“I would be glad to design something. I just finished two hands. And I want to move into more of a supporting role and this is the type of projects that I want to help with,”stated Bob Roth, a designer at e-NABLE. “You could get him one of those circular card holders two and a half inches in diameter. you can fasten it to his socket and he could hold his cards in his hand. I’ve seen them in stores. you could fasten it with a Velcro strap.”
Nancy quickly retrieved a finger from an old Cyborg beast hand she had and used glue and velcro to create a hand designed to hold cards. Keegan can now play cards with ease.
“Sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s not always about making new fingers for people who do not have them –but it is important to make useful tools that will allow people to participate in a certain activity and then go about the rest of the day without a tool strapped to their arm.” said the E-nabing the Future team.
[Image via microfabricator]