Self-Stabilizing Pen for Parkinson’s Patients

This new self-stabilizing will bring back legible handwriting to someone who suffers from Parkinson’s.

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Stabilization technology is being used for many purposes these days.  Designers are finding more ways to fit the technology into other applications, such as spoons which self-stabilize for people who suffer hand tremors.  More recently a pen is being developed to help those who are afflicted by Parkinson’s disease to write legibly again.

Due to tremors and other involuntary movement of their hands, people with Parkinson’s often have the condition called micrographia.  This condition has the symptoms of small, cramped, illegible handwriting, and many people simply give up writing or drawing because of it.

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The ARC pen aims to alleviate this problem.  It was built by students from the UK’s Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, using a number of high-frequency vibration motors to cancel out any small involuntary movements while stimulating key hand muscles.  This allows it to help smooth out the handwriting and make the pen easier to move across the writing surface.

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The ARC pen’s creators found in preliminary trials that using it made a remarkable improvement in the handwriting of fourteen test subjects.  Their data shows that 93% of users who tested it had an increased size in letter size, making their writing readable.  Another interesting point of the pen turns out to be a lasting effect of up to ten minutes where the person who finish using the pen where the person can use their improved dexterity for other things.

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At this point in time, the ARC pen is just a prototype but its team has already gone through many designs.  They are currently seeking partners to help bring the pen into production.  It’s almost a sure bet we will see this helpful, healing pen on the likes of Kickstarter in the near future.

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