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Open Source Prosthetics: Where Tradition Falls, Innovation Rises

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At the last Careables meet-up, we had the opportunity to learn more about Adriana Cabrera and her groundbreaking work in the open healthcare sector.

Adriana is a GIG member, a co-founder at FabCare, and a guest researcher at Hochschule Rhein-Waal and University Aberystwyth. She specializes in innovation, product development, and digital manufacturing, focusing on soft robotics, textiles, and assistive devices.

Adriana told us about some of her projects, one of them being the development of a prototype of a dynamic orthosis hand  as a project embedded in the Fab Academy named “MyOrthotics.” Motivated by Frank, an individual facing hand paralysis, Adriana started with the question  how she could apply her expertise to assist people with disabilities who lack access to such solutions and collaborated with a physiotherapist and experts from the medical side to co-create this solution.

 

 

This led to the creation of an academy where she and other professionals distributed assistive technologies, called Biomechademy. To understand better, Adriana gave us some examples of their work.

ONE CHAIR FOR KATHERINE:

This project was inspired by Catherine, a Paralympic Games athlete planning on competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The FabLab KampLintfort and the cooperation with the company Hodey together with Adriana´s students  helped her to design and implement a new chair that could adjust the body, making her activity more comfortable and safer for her to compete. They apply techniques such as 3D scanning, 3D-printed, and tailor-made carbon fibre chair to fit her body structure.

 

NICO HEAT ME:

A project inspired by Nico, who lost his right arm due to an accident. Nico shared with Adriana a problem he was facing – the sense of cold during the winter due to the prosthetic hand he was using. This led to the creation of a heating arm wrist to help him tackle this problem.

 

MONITORING INSOLE:

Diabetes is a problem that affects 7 million people in Germany alone, meaning that almost 9% of Germany’s population suffers from it. This project is dedicated to helping people monitor their diabetes. When not monitored correctly, patients face the possibility of disabilities or amputation.

The project started to explore ways to tackle this problem locally in Fablabs with the limited resources that were available after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They created a prototype of a monitoring insole by using embroidery machines, achieving a result of a device that is individualized, low-cost, lightweight, and easy to distribute.

 

Medical aid monitoring insuline levels for people with diabetes

 

Adriana empowers makers to create solutions driven by a passion for understanding new opportunities to tackle a challenge in intervening in disabilities and develop solutions by using digital manufacturing and skills that can contribute to a better society. Her projects are driven by open innovation and digital fabrication, exploring how new technologies can be implemented in healthcare while considering tailoring and personalization can still be a”hand-crafted” field.

Hear the full presentation here.

Find out more about Adriana’s work here.



STORY BY

Rania Fratzeskaki

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

Fab Academy, Adriana Cabrera, FabLab KampLintfort

SPEAKER

Adriana Cabrera

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