Friday, October 31, 2014 makes me happy.

Never mind the storied rivalry between the universities.  Rich Goldberg and Kevin Caves work with UNC and Duke respectively in very unique engineering programs, and they and their students collaborate to make amazing things happen.

Every year they collaborate on a program where their students develop custom assistive technology
"You just bend your hand in it and boom, it closes." ~Holden
devices for people with disabilities.  According to their website: "their project ideas come from therapists and clinicians in Durham and Chapel Hill who serve as project advisors throughout the semester". My guess is that they stay local because their students need to be able to work closely with their "clients".

You can find info about their program here

Their mandate, as I understand it, is to make a device that is useful/necessary to increase the individual's occupational performance and independence. The "thing" they build can not be available on the market.  Over the years I've seen some really remarkable products from them to help students in both Durham and Chapel Hill.

Recently they worked with a local boy to 3D print a prosthetic hand. Material cost: $20. There is a terrific article with accompanying video and WUNC audio interview here. Of note is that the projects are made for specific individuals and are not commercially available at this junction, nor do Goldberg or Caves plan to make them available. My guess is having done the ground work, commercialization is left up to some other individual.

Stay inspired!

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