I am designing a thing-a-ma-jig for my right hand.

  • The accident
  • The injury
  • The goal

Cotton Picker IllustrationIt was harvest season and my father decided to take along 3 year old Cornelius. We were going to help a few of my uncles gather the seasons yeild of cotton.

Standing on the outside deck of the cottonpicker, my uncle proceeded to drive over a stump hidden amoungst the crop. The machine tipped over and landed ontop of me.

The impact of the machine landing ontop of me tore one nerve from my spine and overstretched 3 others. As a result I do not have a right pec, lat and tricep muscle. But the biggest impact has been very limited use my right hand.
See a short video of my hands functionality →

I am desiging an assistive glove to compensate for the lost function of my right hand. More than restoring use of my right hand, it needs to be beautiful. It must be fashional and spark conversation of "what is that" and not "what happened."

Scroll down to read the latest updates.

Latest updates from the blog ↓

Moving on from the exoskeleton

A while ago a gentleman from the UK reached out to share his story with me. He’d been in a motorcycle accident that left him with an injury to his right hand. An injury very similar to mine: we both aren’t able to open our right hand at the knuckle joints.

Rather than start from scratch, he hired a team of specialists who created him a custom solution. Take a look at the photos below to see how it works.

Photo of Anton Truhan's splint

photos provided by Anton Truhan

What’s great about his splint is that it is low profile and simple. Unlike the exoskeleton that I’ve been working on, his has very little moving parts and generally the more moving parts, the more that can go wrong.

So rather than continue further down the road with my exoskeleton, I decided to switch lanes and try make my own version of his splint. I put it together, tried it out and it looks like it works for me too.

Watch the video below to see the results of my latest creation.

See the video on instagram →

Posted in My hand project on June 14, 2015

You gotta Crawl Before You Ball

In the last version of my hand project, I had the exoskeleton to a point where it could fully open and close with my hand.

This time I included a few hooks in the design so that I can add an elastic that pulls back on my finger. It does a good job below the middle joint but in the next version I need to get it to pull the whole finger back and open.

The song in my video — Crawl Before You Ball by Saafir — really explains how I feel this project is going.

View the video on Youtube →

Posted in My hand project on May 20, 2015

Vlog: I now have an exoskeleton with full range of motion

I had two goals for this version of the exoskeleton:

  1. Get it to allow for a full range of motion.
  2. Add Velcro so that I do not have to tape it on anymore.

The next step now is to add some of the actual functionality into it.

Posted in My hand project on March 2, 2015

Getting help with my hand project

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve started working on my hand project and up until now it’s simply been a part time effort. It is something I have been working on in my free time after work and on weekends. I’d consider it more of a hobby project but I’ve been persistent and it’s paid off. Through a series of circumstances, my story made its way into the halls of the CBC who picked it up as an interest piece for their evening news.

What this taught me was that if I focus on doing great work, good things will find me.

Because of the exposure my project got on the news I’ve had people reach out to me. One of those was Hargurdeep Singh or Deep for short. Deep is currently studying at Seneca college for mechanical engineering and is heavily involved with many organizations throughout the GTA. He is also involved with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers who just so happens to be running a 3D printing challenge right now. The I AM 3D Challenge is meant to encourage undergraduates to push the limits of what 3D printing can do. Deep along with his team and advisors approached me because they believed in my story and the possibilities this project could have for the competition.

The collaboration begins

This past week Deep and his team came by my place to begin working together. They showed up with several cases of fancy equipment that they set up to get a proper 3D scan of my hand. I had no clue what most of it did which is why I’m glad I now have someone helping me on the technical side while I get to focus on the aesthetics.

They are now printing out a copy of this model and use it to work off of. I am excited to see what they can come up with.

The set-up used to scan my hand

If you look at the laptop screen you will see the scan of my hand.

Posted in My hand project on February 21, 2015

Wasting time, playing around

I have a hard wired need to constantly produce. I feel like if there isn’t an end product, I am not being productive. I think it comes from my father and his father before him. They couldn’t just walk somewhere, they would run. If they needed a tool on the other side of the garage it was a sprint. As a family, all 8 of us once packed in our pickup truck and sped up to Northern Canada for a weekend vacation only to rush back home again. It’s ironic. I know. I’ve noticed this in myself in many ways, my hand project included.

Cornelius Quiring's exoskeleton sketches

I spent a good portion of my time trying to figure out what exactly had happened to my body as a result of the accident. But I also spent most of last year creating random versions. Experiments really. I felt the need to constantly create something rather than have any direction. However, after all of last years experiments, I decided to go down the route of building an exoskeleton upon which to build the functionality.

Cornelius Quiring's exoskeleton sketches

I’ve created two versions up till now and spent all of this week designing the third. It hasn’t taken me all week to create the third version, I’ve been playing around. Putting on the previous exoskeleton and playing around with it. Seeing how it feels when I move my finger. How it fits. What elements can I improve.

Cornelius Quiring's exoskeleton sketches

In the back of my mind I thought I could get a new version done in one night. But looking back at my work this week in my sketchbook, I’m glad I didn’t rush it. I think I’ve come up with a simplified solution that solves problems I’ve had up until now.

Designing my exoskeleton in Google Sketch-up for V3

The final files that’ve been sent of to the printer. Far fewer parts than the previous versions.

Posted in My hand project on February 19, 2015

Sketches become digital files and this file is off to the printers

Turning my hand exoskeleton sketches into digital files using Google Sketchup
Posted in My hand project on November 30, 2014

Sketches of an exoskeleton I’m working on

Sketch of right hand exoskeleton
Posted in My hand project on November 19, 2014

Using materials from the world of props

Until now, I have completely overlooked the world of prop making and cosplay. This is a world dedicated to making “modifications” to the makes complete sense for my project. But then this wouldn’t be a journey if I had thought of it right away, right?

Here is my first attempt with mouldable plastic.

Using mouldable plastic for my hand project

Posted in My hand project on October 24, 2014

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