Faculty Advisor

Ault, Holly Keyes

Faculty Advisor

Hoffman, Allen H.


Individuals with physical impairments often need assistive devices to perform daily activities. Commercial reacher grippers can be difficult to use for individuals with reduced hand and wrist functionality. After evaluating these devices, a novel design was developed to decrease difficulties associated with using common grippers. The design features electro-mechanical actuation to minimize hand strength required to operate the device and a forearm support to alleviate stress on the user’s wrist. The actuated claws can close in under 1 second for fast grasping. The prototyped solution was tested for feedback and functionality by typical users with varying physical capabilities. Results indicated the device allows users to comfortably retrieve objects up to 4 pounds from 32 inches away.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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