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Adjustable Downhill Racer Team


The Human Centered Design Studio at Colorado School of Mines is known for enabling individuals with disabilities to participate in sports as well as other outdoor activities. Our design of a mechanical prosthetic hand does just this. Our client, Bob Radocy is an upper limb amputee, and the founder of TRS Prosthetics, a company based out of Boulder that focuses on creating high-performance prosthetic devices for upper limb amputees. In the past, TRS had created a simple prosthetic designed to hold a ski pole, however a need arose for one that was more durable, as well as adjustable for different users.

Our group has designed a prosthetic hand that features a movable thumb with a simple open and close mechanism. Though the hand was originally meant for downhill skiing, the project has expanded to include more diverse activities in which the use of a pole is necessary, such as hiking. A grip is used to interface between the hand and the pole so that the device can be used on different diameters of poles. Additionally, the force required to open the thumb can be adjusted via compression of a spring that controls the mechanism that holds the thumb in place. These unique features in particular, among other design aspects, allow the hand to be universally suitable to a wide variety of users and activities.

Team Members

  • Trent Dykema

  • Zachary Hoffman

  • Cora McCanlies

  • Melissa Pinson

  • Jessica Sigler

  • Daily Valdez

  • Kevin Zapanta

The Client

  • Bob Radocy
  • Human Centered Design Studio


Project Advisors: Chelsea Salinas, Joel Bach, and Susan Anderson

Donations Made by: Human Centered Design Studio