Yet more exciting innovations from Imperial College! We were delighted to hear from Nate Macabuag who, with his project partner, Josh Chidwick, is a final year mechanical engineering student at Imperial College, London.
Working closely with patients with limb loss, Nate and Josh are reimagining the upper limb prosthesis with particular regard to tackling the key issues with current prostheses; lack of comfort and lack of functionality.
Our design is incredibly comfortable, can be easily fitted by the user themselves, and is highly functional – all at a cost that’s actually affordable. Nate Macabuag & Josh Chidwick
They have formed Mitt, and their innovative prototype is already being tested by upper limb amputees, including inspirational quadruple amputee, Alex Lewis, who was the subject of a recent Channel 4 documentary, and receiving very favourable feedback. They are keen, however, to get their idea out to as many people as possible so, if you’d like to know more about Mitt and how Nate and Josh may be able to help you, please read their introduction and contact them using the details below.
“Josh and I are final year mechanical engineering students from Imperial College London. We started work on prosthesis initially as a university project to build an upper limb below elbow device, and thats when our supervisor put us in touch with Alex Lewis. To say the experience was humbling would be an understatement, he spoke at length about just how poor current prosthesis are for the majority of people and really prompted us to focus on simplicity, price and comfort.
Coming from an engineering background turned out to serve us well. We ended up trying designs that a more experienced clinician would not have bothered with. As such we found solutions that no one had tried before and after testing with Alex our prosthetic performed fantastically. We had come up with a design that was self-adjustable, comfortable, and importantly – cost 100X less than current alternatives.
Since then Josh and I have founded Mitt and we’re continuing to develop comfortable, functional and affordable prostheses. Our main drive is to give people with limb loss back control over their own prosthesis and their own bodies with a device that the user can fit themselves, and adjusts as the user changes size. The aim is that with an affordable price point, we can provide direct to the community, bypassing expensive and time consuming middle-men. We’re starting with arms (below elbow) but the goal is to continue and expand to all levels of limb loss.
We’re currently in the prototyping phase but are very keen to continue to develop our prostheses in collaboration with the people that actually use them. With your help we would love to run a 4 week pilot with 10 or so members with below elbow limb loss. The idea would be to build them an arm and check in with them once a week for a month to see what they like and what we can improve.” (Nate Macabuag)
If you’d like more information or to be involved in a 4 week pilot or other trial, please contact:
You can also check out the Mitt website: www.wearmitt.com
And their new twitter account: www.twitter.com/wearmitt
It’w wonderful to hear of people really trying to make a difference is such positive ways to amputees’ lives (and finances!), and we applaud Nate and Josh for their work to date. We’re sure they’re going to go from strength to strength with this wonderful project and wish them every success. We really hope that you’ll be able to help them, and possibly also yourself or someone you know, by getting in touch.