Related care research -- first case, Maestro!

Hello everyone,  as Wemake we would like to share more research around existing products that align with the concept of care.   This has been part of our co-design process, and we would like to expand the usefulness by sharing more ideas.  Below is a project called Maestro, it offers a new way of control, something which can be further used for solving care issued related to some phyical mobility challenges.  The posts to follow will elaborate on different technologies applied in open projects around the theme of care.


About:  Making your own finger mounted input device to control the cursor.

Country: USA

Year: 2015

By: Jonggi Hong - student of the course “Tangible Interactive Computing” taken by Professor Jon Froehlich at the University of Maryland, College Park.

It is not specified if this project solves a specific medical or social issue. But, surely, it can be a starting point for new projects which can help mobility-impaired people in their everyday issues. Maestro was made as part of the CS graduate course “Tangible Interactive Computing” at the University of Maryland, College Park taught by Professor Jon Froehlich. Maestro is an affordablle wearable input device using the orientation of the finger. During this course wearable small devices on the finger has been investigated to provide easy access to PC and surrounding environment (NailO, HandSight). Maestro enables user to do pointing and scrolling based on the orientation of the finger and contact between fingers.

How is it open?

  • Maestro has the creative commons licence BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic).
  • Anyone can clone and fork it.
  • Source code and 3D printer files can be downloaded for free, some hardware components need to be bought to re-create the device though:



What would be even more interesting…

…I believe is learning about if and how people are using it, and whether this can be connected with their medical charts, treatment and advice in any way. The problem identified by @Rune in his piece would weigh quite a lot on the way these ingenious and affordable devices are presented as community led solutions:

The research contribute with important results, but obviously there is a problem of transferring the research results into the benefit of people with physical challenges - Doctor, could you hack me a neuroprosthesis please?

Technology push or demand pull

Right on @Noemi :-). The article made me reflect on two different associations:

1. Often we (technicians) get carried away by fascinating possibilities of technology. Tech becomes interresting in it’s own right rather than a means to solve a specific problem and @Moushira has a good start on that. Sometimes it even creates new health problems. Here the the mouse as a modern a health hazard comes into mind (it’s provoking RSI, Carpal tunnel syndrome etc. simply put: wrist problems). It’s easy to imagine similar issues.

2. Some years ago i converted an old pc mouse into a “finger extensometer”. Drilling a hole, springloading the optical encoding wheel wrapped with some fishing line. The line goes out though the hole and in the other end it was attached to a rubberring. That ring could be put on the e.g. index finger. 

The idea was to solve a clinical issue with a tool for the physiotherapist training fingerextenstion of the impaired hand. (The typical hemiplegic hand after a stroke). Either the user could get a biofeedback when exercising finger extension, or it could be an evaluation tool to keeping track on the progress by providing objective measurement of amount of finger extension.

If this ‘Maestro’ can do this task and if it is really easy to clone it could be a good candidate for this work ( Currently there are some protocols (using expensive movement analysis labs), but if this could be a <50€ DIY instrument for a OpenCare rehabilitation it could be great.

Anyone wants to continue the work? Who can make a pilot case study with a patient? (A validation of repeatability,reliability and correlation with a golden standard).  Stuff for an article (

Taking it a bit further

@Francesco_Maria_ZAVA directed my attention to this very interessting glove

@Moushira. Do you think the Maestro be advanced to be similar, but opensource and easyly replicable?