Following a stroke in 2022, Mr. Jari Lal Gurung's left half of his body is paralysed. In order to provide for his family, he began driving taxi last year. He can't shift gears easily because his fingers and thumb get tense. If he can have the device to support his finger it would be great help.
Bhutan Makerthon : Mr. Jari Lal Gurung
Owner & Collaborators
First, we spoke with the need knower person during the three days of Makerthon to learn more about his issue. We also took him for a test drive, covering around 5 kilometres, to learn more about the need for knowledge. After some brainstorming and several design iterations, our need-knower was eventually satisfied and pleased with the prototype. However, the ideation, printing, and testing processes presented us with numerous difficulties. However we are inspired to design more of the AT
Due to his functional limitation of his hand, he is not able to drive comfortably for longer duration. He face difficulties while shifting gear and holding onto gear for longer time as his thumb and fingers become tighter.
- He has been attending occupational therapy for past 3 years and has been able to develop few skills required for his work that is driving a taxi. He started driving taxi last year to support his family.
- In the transmission gear operations, pulling the shift lever in the backward direction is difficult. (Shifting into reverse gear is particularly difficult.) Create a gear-shifting self-help device to enable smooth gear shifting.
- When the temperature is low, the index finger and thumb become stiff.
Thus, transmission gear operations, pulling the shift lever in the backward direction is difficult. Especially shifting into reverse gear. In the past, he has failed to change gears due to lack of strength in his hand.
- Main points that we are focusing are:
- Usage of flexible filament(TPU) to reduce the hand pain.
- Customised dimensions to fit the user's hand.
- Designing to minimise the force to shift the gear.
- Designing ridges to increase the grip.
- Designing hole to fit the knob directly to the lever
- Some of the references that we took is a real gear knob from the users car.From his experience he said he feel difficulties in shifting gear with actual knob.
- To make gloves for his thumb and index finger. This design’s objective is to make it easy for him to move his index finger and thumb.However, the plan couldn't proceed because, in the long run, his thumb and index finger would be stiff. This could result again to be difficult to move.
- The plan was to create a top knob on top of the gear knob with the palm resting on the top and a supporting strip on top to hold the hand. The result of the plan was to make it easier for him to shift the gears while driving.
- Making a top knob with the palm resting on top of the gear knob . To make it simpler for him to grip and release his hand,the prototype's supporting strip was cut away. In addition to the original idea, we considered fastening the knob directly to the gear lever for ease of use and longevity.
- We made a necessary changes regarding the design and the dimension. We also include gear reading on top for the best use and we also incluse hook for the gear knob.
- Printing was challenging part because of power outage. We had to print for three times to get our first prototype.
- When trying to fit on the lever's tip, the printing broke, so it was originally completed while lying on its back. so printed on actual orientation.
- Printing time of TPU
- Then we tried to experiment the prototype we 3d printed with the user.After that our user was happy and was satisfied with the prototype.
- We made the first prototype with the help of the clay and we tested with the Mr. Jari Lal Gurung.
- We did 2nd prototype test with Mr. Jari Lal Gurung, however it was not succesful and had to make necessary modifications.
- Mass production
- Customize shifting knob with the threading system instead of press knob
- Heating system
- Some of the feedbacks are:
- More comfortable compared to original gear knob
- Easier to shift the gear with less strength.
- It has more grip and proper rest for thumb
- It doesn't slip and can hold for a longer time.