Lou Ellen Deyzel is a 54 year old woman living with Neuromyelitis Optica, a rare disease that causes damage to motor and sensory neurons in the spinal cord. Lou’s spinal cord is damaged from C4 downwards leading to blindness in her left eye and problems using her arms. Lou also has arthritis in both hands and has trouble feeling them making holding things or picking things up extremely difficult. As a result, Lou is an electric wheelchair user that would like a solution to help her pick things up off the floor, as most pick up sticks on the market are simplistic and lack the dexterity to pick up small objects such as coins as well as wider objects.
Lou's teams have created two unique prototype solutions. Team 'Innov8tors' designed a 3 claw grip system that will allow her to pick up a range of items off the floor, while Team 'Designudden'sclaw' inspired prototype is interfaced with an extendable suction cup, magnetic flippers, a silicon grip and a leg lifter so Lou can pick up items and also lift and move her leg when required.