Hackaday Prize Entry: Hand Tremor Suppression Wearable Device

It is extremely distressing to watch someone succumb to an uncontrollable hand tremor. Simple tasks become frustrating and impossible, and a person previously capable becomes frail and vulnerable. Worse still are the reactions of other people, in whom the nastiest of prejudices can be unleashed. A tremor can be a debilitating physical condition, but it is not one that changes who the person afflicted with it is.

An entry from [Basian Lesi] in this year’s Hackaday Prize aims to tackle hand tremors, and it takes the form of a wearable device that tries to correct the tremors by applying small electrical stimuli in response to the motion it senses from its built-in accelerometer. At its heart is an ATMega328p microcontroller and an MPU6050 accelerometer chip, and the prototype is shown using a piece of stripboard mounted in a 3D-printed box. It’s still in development and testing, but they have posted a video showing impressive results that you can see below the break, claiming an 85% reduction in tremors.

Hand tremor reduction projects are like buses in this year’s Hackaday Prize, you wait for ages and then two come along at once. There are commercial products in this field, too, such as this self-stabilising spoon.

13 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: Hand Tremor Suppression Wearable Device

  1. Sorry, no puns here.

    My late Dad suffered mightily from a hand tremour. Nothing ever really worked for it.

    I’ve since seen that they can reduce such tremours with the application of appropriate stimuli via a probe inserted into just the right spot in the brain… but if significant attenuation can now be achieved by a wearable device… fantastic.

  2. While this technology is very exciting, I am disappointed that the designers have chosen to not open-source their work. They’ve published the Arduino code, but all the interesting stuff is going to be in the ML app (not to mention info on electrode placement!). It’s a shame, too. Looking at the style of the Arduino code, they could benefit from some outside pull requests.

    1. I agree, its worrying to see when HaD tries to get ‘hackers’ to build some assistive tech that half the projects then decide to hold back half the details because if they succeed some company may pay trough the nose for it.

      Such is the sad reality of life, most people mostly care about their own monetary gain (with all respect, this especially applies to Americans, they are trained for it, ‘murican dream’ and all)

  3. Intuitively I’d expect this device to cause some nasty response loop that would make things worse. But if it works in practice it’s pretty dam neat.
    Does it cause extra muscle fatigue though? Not that it should, but I’m just wondering conflicting muscle information might not do something unpleasant over a longer use.

  4. I had the shakes – still do. Hand soldering was a nightmare.
    My personal therapy was – target shooting. Breath control, watching the tremors move the crosshairs, focus on reducing tremors. The arthritis kicked in and I couldn’t squeeze a trigger without more shakes, so I gave it all away.

    Tire’s a lot of politics relating to guns. I won’t go into that. All I’d say is: if something like this had been available, I would have used it AND kept shooting. Target shooting would have been a great way to verify the device was actually helping.

  5. have tremors 20 years 10 mil of propranolol helps but so does a shot of alcohol which I’m not drinking at 5 am, to go play golf. putting is a bitch with out the pill. PRO golfers would buy this if they have enough money

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