Hackaday Prize Entry: Soft Orthotics

Nearly a million people in the US suffer from CP, a neurological disorder that causes spastic motion in the limbs. One of the biggest quality of life factors for CP sufferers is the ability to use their arms, and that means an expensive and clunky orthotic around their elbow. [Matthew] has a better idea: why not make a soft orthotic?

This is not [Matthew]’s first project with soft robotics. He’s the lead scientist at Super Releaser, the company responsible for the completely soft robotic Glaucus atlanticus and other soft pneumatic robots.

This soft, flexible orthotic exoskeleton is designed for sufferers of chronic movement disorders. Traditional orthotics are expensive, difficult to move, and uncomfortable, but by designing this orthotic to be just as strong but a little more forgiving, these devices minimize most of the problems.

The Neucuff is constructed out of extremely simple materials – just some neoprene, a velcro, and a CO2 cartridge. The problem with bringing this to market, as with all medical devices, is FDA requirements and certifications. That makes the Hackaday Prize an excellent opportunity for [Matthew] and the rest of Super Releaser, as well as anyone else trying to navigate regulatory requirements in order to change the world.

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

7 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Soft Orthotics

      1. Sorry,
        I ready your logs day before yesterday when your project popped up under “Trending Projects”. Maybe it was one of the projects that was linked under “Similar Projects” I just associated to yours. Verified it wasn’t in your current log.

    1. Difficult to say about the company in this case, but often startups don’t actually have money to pay any of the founders any wages. So could still be “hacking”, just with eventual profit if it succeeds.

    2. Hi there. I own the company Super-Releaser. It’s a small R&D company where people come to us to solve problems with soft robots. The elbow cuff is a back burner project that’s being done internally. I’m doing a majority of the work myself and am not getting paid for my time on it by anyone.

      Certainly, there are people getting paid to work on it. The person who did the stitching got paid for her time. The person who did the concept art got paid for his time. Their work is valuable and they deserve to be paid for it.

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