top of page

SaeboStick - Stroke Rehabilitation

In the second year of the Design Engineering MEng course at Imperial (Jan 2020 - June 2020), we were tasked with our Engineering Design Project in groups of four.

We had to design and build an electro-mechanical product for use by an underserved user group, from finding our user group, to building a prototype for a feasible product. Sadly, the Covid-19 virus meant the implementation of remote working, and closure of campus facilities. Therefore our brief was altered to be a digital deliverable, rather than a physical prototype.

Due to almost all of our group members having close experience with strokes in our families, we decided to focus on stroke rehabilitation, to help survivors recover, and return to their normal lives as best they could. We found a potential gap in the market was the fact that hand weakness is often catered for, while spasticity (uncrontrollable muscle tightness) was overlooked. 
My role within the team was responsible for the delivery of much of the design, manufacture and compliance work. Below is an overview of the project, with particular focus on the areas I put most work into. 


Concept Development

With our need and operational requirements identified through face to face interviews with sufferers, I began to develop ideas to allow us to combine the suggested exercises with analytics and gamification. Eventually coming up with a joystick system, with inverted pressure sensing buttons and complete adjustability.

Throughout this stage, design for manufacture and assembly were key components of my thought process. Influencing my choice of materials, components and how I could imagine these fitting together. 


Digital Prototyping

After coming up with a concept that met the functional requirements and would be feasible to manufacture and assemble, several proprietary components required further analysis. In particular, components identified as load bearing, or utilising snap-fits for assembly were run through Solidworks' FEA (Finite Element Analysis) software. Using this software, I ensured that all load bearing components could cope with maximal loads, as well as cyclic loading to simulate long periods of use alongside dynamic simulations for the assembly features. 

Our final product contained over 25 proprietary components, most of which were tested in FEA, leading to some adjustments in the materials and geometry that would be used to manufacture these in future. 


Technical Drawings

Finally, all of our proprietary components and assemblies were converted to technical drawings. For this project, this included over 30 drawings produced with intent to follow BS 8888 technical drawing standards. 
As well as individual measured components, assembly drawings were produced for each of the key assemblies, providing an insight as to how each sub-assembly would be fit together, and how these fit into the overall assembly. 



Another part of the technical side of this project was to ensure that our designs met compliance. 
These standards had a large disparity depending on how we wished to market our product. As a result, we divided our compliance requirements in line with the phases at which we wished to reclassify our product from an exercise to a medical item. 



Our final product was evaluated (remotely) by some of our research contacts. These consisted of physiotherapists, stroke survivors and members of the Stroke Association, and the reviews were very positive. 
Earlier in the concept development, our group had chosen to align with the brand Saebo - a specialist in physiotherapy devices. While this was only a theoretical partnership for the sake of academics, a lot of our branding development was done with this in mind, hence the name, and colour scheme in our final renders and packaging. 


Full Project Available Here:

bottom of page