Automatic splint to prevent self-harm in autistic and brain injured people

Richardson, Mark (2015) Automatic splint to prevent self-harm in autistic and brain injured people. [USQ Project]


Download (6MB) | Preview


This dissertation is aimed at providing a less restrictive alternative to applying restrictive splints to people who display self-injurious behaviour often seen in people with severe autism or brain injuries.

An electronic method of controlling an elbow jointed splint is explored, designed, built and tested. The final product, the Dynamic Splint Device (DSD) is a self-contained electronic joint that utilises an electromagnetic brake controlled by an Arduino microcontroller electronics board. Sensors measuring elbow joint rotational velocity, total fist acceleration and bending moments are used to predict potential impact forces. The device will reduce injury by applying a braking force to the joint when the predicted impact is greater than an adjustable set-point.

The electronic ratchet developed as part of the braking system has allowed a sense of not being restrained, as the arm is not restricted from moving to a more open position. The ratchet has also increased the battery life of the DSD.

Legally, restraints are required to be the least restrictive available. The DSD has the potential to revolutionise the care of people displaying Self Injurious Behaviour (SIB) by reducing the need for full restraint. It allows movement in a safe manner, restores civil liberties, and allows better therapy when compared to full restraint devices currently available on the market.

Allowing health professionals and carers to build this device is integral to the design. Open source coding, 3D printable parts and off the shelf components allows anyone with a computer and a 3D printer to make the DSD, with the only limitation being that profit is not made.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 29157
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Instrumentation and Control Systems) project
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Maxwell, Andrew
Date Deposited: 30 May 2016 06:23
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2016 23:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: Splints, Autism, Brain Injury, Self Injurious Behaviour Prevention, Dynamic Splint Device, Electronic ratchet
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090602 Control Systems, Robotics and Automation
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4007 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics > 400799 Control engineering, mechatronics and robotics not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only