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Boy builds device to help people with poor grip brush their teeth

Ana Duarte 于 2018-05-14 10:50 分享

About the solution

Jake started wearing braces and was reminded of the importance of brushing his teeth. The boy then thought about people who have poor grip and, because of that, have trouble brushing their teeth properly.

“I started to think about people who couldn’t brush and what I could do to help them. People with Parkinson’s and other diseases. The No. 1 condition that makes it difficult is arthritis, and I thought about my grandma Zell, who recently passed away but who had really bad arthritis”, the inventor explained.

Inspired by all of this, Jake set out to come up with a way to help these people and started doing his research, to see what already existed.

The first task was to build a toothbrush handle that could be easily used by people with physical disabilities or weak grip. “What he came up with was filling a balloon with coffee grounds. Because coffee grounds have jagged little edges, they tend to interconnect and hold their shape once you create a vacuum in the balloon. It was pretty ingenious”, Jake’s father said.

The next step was to find a way to get the toothpaste out of the tube and onto the brush (Jake’s grandmother complained about this task). Using Legos and a programmable controller, the boy created “the squeezer”. This consists of a mechanism that works by pushing a button that starts a motor-driven device that squeezes a predetermined amount of toothpaste onto a toothbrush mounted underneath.

Once the projected was finished, alongside with a 120-page journal documentation of the whole process, the student showed the device to his orthodontist. “He looked at it, and he was impressed by it. He even suggested that it would help people I hadn’t thought of – people who have broken bones in their hand and can’t grip the tube”, he expressed.

Jake’s solution won the state’s Grand Champions trophy and, for the second straight year, earned Jake a trip to the national championship.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2IEA5fD


DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com


Jake Gendreau, from USA, was in the seventh grade when he created, in 2018, Get-A-Grip, a device to help people with weak grip, by squeezing the toothpaste out for them. Jake was inspired by his grandmother, who had bad arthritis.

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