Engineers at the University of Utah in the US have developed a computer-controlled hand and arm support. The device consists of a motorized elbow and hand rest equipped with a force sensor and allows users to precisely control movement in the horizontal plane by exerting more or less pressure on the handrest.
The idea for the automated handrest was inspired by a device used by famous inventor Leonardo da Vinci, who painted using a simple handrest made out of a stick with cloth balls on each end. First studies have shown that it allows more precise control of tools than other support devices and reduces fatigue. The engineers believe that the Active Handrest could benefit surgeons, artists, workers performing pick-and-place tasks, or anyone requiring precise control of tools.