Handheld Device to Accommodate Essential Tremor

Abstract

Tremor is an involuntary muscle movement, trembling, or shaking of the hands. Caused by either Essential Tremor (ET) or diseases like Parkinson’s and Dystonia, tremors often affect daily activities including feeding, drinking, typing, and writing. An experimental framework based on vibrations, dynamics has been developed that can be used to accommodate hand tremors in one major direction in order to help patients with ET, Dystonia and Parkinson’s perform their daily-life tasks more easily. The stabilizing framework in this project is specifically designed to be attached to a cup in order to improve the precision and reduce spillage during drinking and pouring motions in people with hand tremor problem. A high speed rotating disk has been used as a source of angular momentum, producing gyroscopic effect when an input torque caused by tremors is applied to it. Using a rotating gimbal, this gyroscopic effect can be converted to a useful stabilizing torque which will eventually be in the opposite direction of incoming torque and thus help to stabilize the cup. The experimental results show the effectiveness of this method in decreasing the angular accelerations of a cup being imposed to hand tremors.