Australian researchers are developing a 3D printed bracelet to allow people living with hand-impairment to easily use computers and play video games.


People who lack the ability to use their hands from conditions like motor neurone disease and cerebral palsy may one day be able to play video games that require a handheld controller through the use of customisable, 可穿戴3D打印手环.

用一种树脂制成的, the bracelet works by picking up tiny movements in the user’s wrist when they move their fingers. 这些动作通过无线网络传送到电脑上, 然后被解读, 使用机器学习进行分类和调整. 这些被解释的信息可以用来玩游戏, 控制计算机接口或使用智能设备通信.

Anusha Withana博士.

The bracelet and program have been developed by a team of engineers in the 365be体育’s 计算机科学学院, led by undergraduate honours student Mr Stephen Lin under the supervision of Dr Anusha Withana.

“We have 3D printed a sensor bracelet that can be easily customised for individual users. It accurately detects subtle finger movements through vibrations in the carpal tunnel – an area of the wrist that contains the tendons which control the hand,Withana博士说. 

“These subtle movements are then transmitted from the sensors to a program using Bluetooth, which interprets an individual’s movement patterns using machine learning. 然后它会将这些信息传达给游戏. 这几乎是瞬间发生的, allowing the user to play games that would otherwise require the use of a handheld controller.”

Mr Stephen Lin said: “We use machine learning to interpret an individual’s movements, 哪些会因用户而异. 目前, 这些信号被传输到一个基于计算机的程序, but we hope to progress this to a free phone app so it can be easily downloadable.”

In 2020, Dr Withana received an ARC DECRA fellowship to investigate novel sensor fabrication techniques for wearable applications. 目前, the research team is funded by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Neurodisability Assist Trust to further investigate how this 技术 can be used to help people living with cerebral palsy. 

“We know that assistive 技术 holds the key to a brighter future for many children with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities, 有可能改变交流方式, 流动和参与社会. Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood globally, 这意味着这些技术进步的可及性是至关重要的, 可定制且尽可能广泛使用,纳迪亚·巴达维教授说, CP Alliance Chair of Cerebral Palsy 研究 at The 365be体育 and Medical Director and Co-Head at Westmead Hospital’s Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care.

Cerebral palsy can cause spasticity in muscles and affect a person's ability to move. It can have profound impacts on the ability of people to communicate with 50 percent of people living with the condition finding speech difficult or impossible, 三分之二的患者单臂或双臂活动困难. 

“This invaluable project can have a real impact in assisting children with cerebral palsy to play, 学习和表达自己. 在脑瘫联盟, we’re proud to support innovative projects such as this through our grants program, which has committed more than $59 million in funding to leading researchers in 38 countries around the world,巴达维教授说.


The sensors were designed using computational fabrication techniques, 与之配套的部件可以用低成本打印出来, 商业3 d打印机. 该团队还开发了一个简单的, easy-to-use tool that allows users to customise the sensor to fit their needs.

The researchers plan to release the tools to create sensor bracelets as open-source software, with the aim of improving accessibility for people living with disability worldwide.

“无障碍不应该以巨大的成本为代价. 365be体育的使命是提供负担得起的, easy-to-use solution to assist people around the world who are living with disability. 365be体育希望这项技术能够提供给任何需要它的人, 这就是为什么365be体育计划在没有IP的情况下公开发行它,林先生说。.

Gopi Kitnasamy, MJF慈善基金会康复服务负责人, a Sri Lankan not-for-profit organisation the researchers are partnered with, says that new 技术 is helping individuals with disabilities to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

He hopes the device will also benefit his son, who has cerebral palsy.

Gopi Kitnasamy和他的儿子. 

“Access to assistive devices is essential for many people with disabilities. However, access to such devices has been a major issue in low-to-middle income countries,” he said.

“My 23-year-old son lives with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. 他喜欢看汽车和自行车比赛,也喜欢玩电子游戏, 对赛车和射击游戏有着浓厚的兴趣. 

“因为他有很多不自主的运动障碍, 他发现很难使用操纵杆或控制器, 所以他只能看着365be体育为他打球. He selects the tracks, cars, and drivers, but is never able to participate by actually playing. 这让他和365be体育都很沮丧. 

“We have long dreamt of finding a way for him to fully play the game himself. 365be体育已经尝试了各种带有传感器的控制器, 但是这些设备非常昂贵, 他们并没有以他想要的方式帮助他. 

“I was so thrilled and excited to learn about the researchers’ sensor bracelet, which appears promising in terms of functionality and affordability. 365be体育希望这项研究取得进展, 不仅仅是让像我儿子这样的人有机会玩电子游戏, 还要改善康复服务, 让不可能成为可能.


Anusha Withana博士 is the recipient of a DECRA grant (DE200100479) funded by the Australian 政府. This research was further funded by a Cerebral Palsy Alliance 研究 Foundation Grant, 由神经残疾援助信托基金支持.