The ACR Assistivehand and ACR Assistivehand Plus orthotic system
What is it?
ACR Assistivehand is a unique aid for people who are unable to open and close their hands and is the result of years of research and development by ACR. It is a very light electrically powered mechanism, or exoskeleton, that fits over the fingers of the hand. Sensors are attached to the user’s shoulders and a powerful microprocessor detects muscle contractions and converts the signals into commands to open and close the hand.
Users of ACR Assistivehand are typically people with spinal cord injury in the cervical nerve area (tetraplegic) or people who have had a stroke and as a result are unable to move their fingers so they cannot, for example, feed themselves or operate a computer keyboard.
ACR Assistivehand Plus is a very light electrically powered elbow that can be used in conjunction with ACR Assistivehand for users who have little, or no elbow control.
The Control Console is a safety override feature that allows both the ACR Assistivehand and ACR Assistivehand Plus to be operated independently to the sensor control system. It can be rotated underneath the arm of, say a wheelchair, when not in use by loosening the two wing nuts that hold the Console in place.
A rechargeable Lithium Iron battery is located inside the Control Console and should provide 18 hours continuous hand and elbow operation. However, if the hand and elbow are switched off when not in use, it can be expected to last for several days.
Could You Use ACR Assistivehand?
If you are able to contract your shoulder muscles i.e. do a shrug, then it is highly likely that you could operate the ACR Assistivehand straight away with no special training.
If you feel that you would like to try using the ACR Assistivehand system then ACR will make its facilities available to you to try it out. ACR’s specially trained staff will connect sensors to you and attach you to an ACR Assistivehand Simulator.
Where do I go from here?
1. Every ACR Assistivehand and ACR Assistivehand Plus is custom built to fit the user. You will be required to attend ACR’s facilities where we will take a 3D scan of your hand. This is then converted into a computer model and each component sized to fit your hand.
2. The ACR Assistivehand / Plus components are then produced using an additive layer manufacturing process (also known as 3D printing). This takes approximately three weeks.
3. You will need to return to ACR to have the ACR Assistivehand / Plus system fitted. At this time we will also download an easy-to-use version of the ACR Assistivehand software.
4. We will monitor your progress in the early months and as you become familiar with using the ACR Assistivehand / Plus system we will invite you back to ACR to train on more advanced versions of the software.
Contact Us and we will arrange a free no-obligation appointment for you to try ACR Assistivehand for yourself!