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  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Head-mounted pointer for quadriplegic

    Hi Fellas,
    Not strictly metalwork, but I don't know where else to post this.

    I do volunteer technical work for a charity here in VIC. "Assistive Technologies" is the pukka term for what we make. I have a client with quadriplegia who does mouth-painting. Currently she uses a paint brush taped to a special mouth-held iPad stylus. She is finding this is making her feel sick after a while. She would like something that attaches to her head with the brush protruding from her chin. There are head pointers commercially available which have a pointer coming from the top of the head, but she doesn’t want that because she feels the pointer will obstruct her vision. Also the fixing point is a long way from where she is used to (i.e. her mouth) so she would need to relearn to paint.

    Zytec used to make a device exactly like we want, but it is no longer available. Here's what it looked like:

    Zyteq - Electronic Assistive Technology Australia

    I think I'm going to have to make something using a commercially available head mount. I think it will need to have mounting points near the temples. I envisage making an aluminium or carbon fibre arm with an adaptor on the end for clamping a brush into. That should be fairly straightforward, but I'm stuck for ideas where to get the headgear from. Thinking aloud- perhaps by gutting a hard-hat or welding mask?

    Would love to hear any ideas.
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    If you want to copy the commercial one, then yes, looks like the inside of a hardhat would go close.

    I wonder whether it would work if you were to 3d print a 'chin cup' that wraps around the chin, with a spot on the front to mount the brush and a bit of padding inside, and then attach one or two straps from the sides of that to the back of the head, perhaps with a thin (thus flexible) printed load spreader to keep the two straps opposed, and the chin cup secure? Hope that makes sense...

    Seem like it might be painful to get the brush to stay in position and consistent with the commercial arrangement, where a 'fitted' chin cup might give better control? Really don't know, I suppose it depends a little on the users painting technique.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Melbourne
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    Default

    What about the head clamp section of a workshop shield? The face shield bit pivots so can be removed leaving two potential mounting points for the brush holder.

    Face Shield1.jpg

    Edit: Having just read the second post that chinstrap idea could be added to the head clamp as well?

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll and Hyde View Post
    I wonder whether it would work if you were to 3d print a 'chin cup' that wraps around the chin, with a spot on the front to mount the brush and a bit of padding inside, and then attach one or two straps from the sides of that to the back of the head, perhaps with a thin (thus flexible) printed load spreader to keep the two straps opposed, and the chin cup secure?
    She did mention a chin mount but I couldn't find a commercially available one. I didn't even think about 3D printing one. That's a great idea. The organisation has a 3D printer, so I'll call on Monday and ask about using it.
    Chris

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray-s View Post
    What about the head clamp section of a workshop shield? The face shield bit pivots so can be removed leaving two potential mounting points for the brush holder.
    That's basically what I had in mind. It would be simple to make adaptors that screw into the attachment points and clamp onto the arms.
    Chris

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default

    GoPro cameras are all the rage with adrenaline junkies, there are lots of head mounts that include a chin strap.
    Just google “head mount with chin strap” and take your pick.

    Could probably just buy the chin strap to put on a face shield frame.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2005
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    Default

    Chin strap on its own For hard hats.
    https://www.premiersafety.com/head-p...rap-chin-strap

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
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    55
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    Default

    I had to do a mouth held paint brush holder some time ago and came up with this. The PE it was made from is pretty tasteless so should not cause problems. The brush is held with a cable gland (not shown). It was so good that the first one was stolen and I had to make another one for the client. (TAD SA)

    brush holder Model (1).pdf

    If you go down the head strap route, one of the things that our TAD has found really useful for mouth sticks is (aluminium) arrow shafting. Thin wall, decent lengths and pretty darn strong. My only reservation about the head strap plan is that those things can slip around on the head, particularly if not tight. You may have to cover the straps with something that will not slide as easily on hair.

    Michael

  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    She did mention a chin mount but I couldn't find a commercially available one. I didn't even think about 3D printing one. That's a great idea. The organisation has a 3D printer, so I'll call on Monday and ask about using it.
    If you go down this path, I believe you'll be able to use photogrammetry to scan her chin with your mobile phone, and make it a perfect fit (if you can figure out how to model around that shape). We live in an age of wonders .

    This is the sort of job where I feel 3d printers really show their usefulness - something that would be a real pain to make any other way, and if you get it a bit the wrong shape, couple of tweaks and print another one for a few cents.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael G View Post
    I had to do a mouth held paint brush holder some time ago and came up with this. The PE it was made from is pretty tasteless so should not cause problems. The brush is held with a cable gland (not shown). It was so good that the first one was stolen and I had to make another one for the client. (TAD SA)
    Thanks Michael. I don't think she wants anything in her mouth. The cable gland is a fantastic idea. I'll definitely be pinching that.
    Who the hell steals from a quadriplegic?
    I work with Solve Disability Solutions which used to be called TADVIC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael G View Post
    If you go down the head strap route, one of the things that our TAD has found really useful for mouth sticks is (aluminium) arrow shafting. Thin wall, decent lengths and pretty darn strong. My only reservation about the head strap plan is that those things can slip around on the head, particularly if not tight. You may have to cover the straps with something that will not slide as easily on hair.
    Agree about the head straps. My Optivisor slips if it's not really tight. What I'm proposing will have to remain secure while she wields a paint brush with it.
    Arrow shafting sounds good. Cheaper than carbon fibre too.
    Chris

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll and Hyde View Post
    If you go down this path, I believe you'll be able to use photogrammetry to scan her chin with your mobile phone, and make it a perfect fit (if you can figure out how to model around that shape).
    I think I'll be hand-balling that to someone else! Good to hear it's an option. I believe we have a couple of other volunteers who are 3D printing enthusiasts.
    Chris

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Sydney
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    Here are some better images** of the Zygo product from the ILC Australia website - https://ilcaustralia.org.au/products/2975 - which may give you a better idea of how the original was fitted.
    Generally these devices have a fair bit of development behind them to allow use by people with different head shapes, and also to ensure that they do not cause hazards, such as slipping down and digging into the neck, which is a specific hazard for people with limited arm function.

    headpointer1.jpg
    headpointer2.jpg

    You can see that with the padded band across the forehead, adjustable strap behind the head, overhead band and adjustable chin strap attached to the chin cup this is pretty secure against unwanted migration.
    The chin cup would probably not be too hard to do. Could be made from easily shaped metal or plastic strips and well padded, or could be formed directly on the chin using low temperature thermoplastic sheet as used by OTs and Physios.
    Light weight and well considered adjustability are the keys to success here I think.

    Bill

    **PS forgot to mention that "ZYGO headpointer" on google pulls up lots of images and some videos relating to this and similar products.
    Last edited by WCD; 1st Aug 2020 at 12:15 AM. Reason: wording

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCD View Post
    Generally these devices have a fair bit of development behind them to allow use by people with different head shapes, and also to ensure that they do not cause hazards, such as slipping down and digging into the neck, which is a specific hazard for people with limited arm function.
    That's good to know thanks Bill. I'm working with her OT who should have a good handle on the client's risk profile.
    Thanks for the extra pics. I hadn't seen the rear pic, which provides a lot of extra detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by WCD View Post
    Light weight and well considered adjustability are the keys to success here I think.
    Agreed. Although, because this is a custom made device it won't need as much adjustability as an off the shelf device. However more adjustably will require few visits to the client's house to get the fit right.

    I have a Zoom meeting with the client and OT next week. I'll determine whether they prefer the zygo style head pointer or a chin mount. Will likely end up trying both.
    Chris

  14. #14
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    May 2013
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    Hi mate.

    Just a thought to save you 3d printing for the chin piece.

    A little while ago I had to get some therapy after an injury on my hand.
    They cut out a little square of this plastic sheet and put it in hot water or the microwave.
    They then draped it over my hand and let it cool.
    Molds perfectly to your hand and goes hard.
    If its not right, heat it up and go again.

    It will definitely be available. I will try and link the product from online.

    Andrew.

  15. #15
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    Thanks Andrew. Sounds like the low temp thermoplastic Bill was referring to. I'll ask the OT about it next week.
    Chris

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