For the majority of us, drinking a glass of water is as easy as breathing. You grab a glass, turn on a tap, fill it with water, tip the glass to your mouth and drink. What if you didn’t have the use of your arms? How would you grab the cup, fill the cup and then lift that cup to your mouth? These are simple things for many, however, they are impossible tasks for some. Many quadriplegics will deal with this problem everyday. Not having the use of your own hands and arms means being dependent on others, until now…
Jaco is a robotic arm device, created by Kenova, that specifically helps those unable to use their own arms and hands. Moving smoothly around 6 degrees of freedom, with unlimited rotation on each axis, it allows the user to have close to normal range of motion. If the client can use a chair, they can manage Jaco. This means, the arm can be controlled by hand controls as well as mouth or head controls. The light weight arm is only 5.7 kg and it can lift as much as 1.5kg when the arm is mid-length. When reaching to it’s maximum distance at 90cm, it can lift up to 1kg. The robot is designed to allow the user to pick up general every day items, such as, a glass of water or a chip bag.
The fingers, aka the gripper, consists of three gripping fingers with three unique joints on each. The fingers can adjust to any object and shape which allows it to gently pick up an egg or firmly grasp a jar.
Recently the Aim2Walk team was fortunate enough to trial Jaco. The use of the arm was surprisingly much easier then we thought and like usual, we had some good laughs playing around. The $35,000 device could be very beneficial to a number of our clients however the price may discourage the majority of those in need. With only four being used in Canada right now, we hope to see more in the near future. For more information click here.
Drinking a glass of water never seemed so fun.