A student suffering from Arthritis developed a special handle for opening doors with ease

The assist handle is intended for regular use, and is designed to replace the regular door handle we all know, to allow people with disabilities to open doors by gently pressing their palm or elbow against the handle

Moran Hassid, a third-year mechanical engineering student from the Ashdod Campus, has been suffering from Arthritis for quite a while. She and her classmates Alon Elron, Yuval Rachmani and Yaara Maman have found an engineering solution that will help Moran, and all people with disabilities, to open doors in an easy and simple way: an assist handle for opening doors using your elbow or the open palm of your hand.

It all started when third-year mechanical engineering students studying in the Product Design and Development 1 course, in the Product Planning and Design Track, were required to plan a device that would help people with disabilities. And so, Moran’s disability led to the development of the assist handle, which can be attached to the door-handle axis. The studies in this study track are aligned with the emerging needs of the Israeli industrial market, which seeks to recruit mechanical engineers who can develop innovative products in-line with the demands of the industrial marketplace, and can adjust such products to the needs of users.

The assist handle is intended for regular use and is designed to replace the door handle we all know, so that people with disabilities, such as those suffering from the almost constant pain that comes with chronic arthritis, or people without fingers or people suffering from other similar disabilities, can open doors by gently pressing their palms or elbows against the handle.

“We thought of the users throughout the entire development process, how to ensure the size of the product would be exactly suitable for the users, so they would be able to complete the everyday action of opening the door with maximal ease and comfort”, the students said.

Moran Hassid: “At the beginning of the course we were told that we had to execute an assist handle to help with applying force. Already then, I started thinking about all the things I had difficulties with in my everyday life, and then I presented them to my teammates. The leading idea was replacing the door handle. I was diagnosed with Arthritis about 8 months ago, but I have been suffering from pain in my wrist for more than three years now, and opening doors has always been a problem for me when the pain attacked, so it was easy for me to come up with an idea for the project. During the development of the handle, my friends and I did our best to design an ergonomic hand which would be comfortable to use, and would really solve the problem of gripping the regular door handle”.

Avihai Shurin, the Head of the Product Planning and Design Track: “The students were asked to develop a product using sand casting technology, and then, after the development process, to manufacture the product at the College. The course was one of the Dean of Students practical experience courses, and also included a NIS 600 scholarship for each student completing the Course”.

Dr. Guy Ben Hamu, the Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department: “This is an essential product with a huge social significance, that will greatly improve the quality of life of people with special needs”.