Category: Physical Therapy

A student pilots an assistive drawing device for people with upper limb disabilities who lack fine motor skills, giving them the ability to draw. Here, she's playing a game with blue butterflies on the screen.
Junior mechanical engineering major Sara Dugan demonstrates the latest version of PushnDraw® that she helped design. The device allows children with upper limb disabilities to play games, navigate mazes and draw freely.

Enabling artistic expression

February 10, 2023 Written by Amy Cherry | Photo by Ashley Barnas

Assistive drawing device developed through UD cross-college innovation aims to help people with disabilities

Artistic expression is a pivotal part of child development. 

But many children with upper limb disabilities lack fine motor skills, inhibiting their ability to hold a pencil, paint or draw. Ashley Pigford is on a lifelong mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by designing assistive technology that helps them live more independently. 

The associate professor of art and design in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware, has created innovative and affordable assistive eating and other mobility devices. Now, Pigford’s PushnDraw® is advancing to the next level through intensive and user-centered research. This next phase of development is possible because of a $50,000 grant from the donor-created Maggie E. Neumann Health Sciences Research Fund, which targets research and innovation that aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities. 

Related News

  • Introducing Biomechanics to New Generations

    April 16, 2024 | Written by Colin Heffinger
    95 students from Conrad Schools of Science, Padua Academy, and William Penn High School gathered at UD’s Science Technology and Advanced Research Campus to experience a variety of immersive demonstrations in honor of National Biomechanics Day.
  • Detecting Developmental Delays Earlier

    March 21, 2024 | Written by Amy Cherry
    Michele Lobo, assistant professor of physical therapy, has received a prestigious NIH Small Business Innovation Research grant to create a smart baby monitor that can detect developmental delays earlier, prompting sooner intervention.
  • PT grad goes pro

    March 15, 2024 | Written by Amy Cherry
    UD physical therapy alumna Asha Rogers is among the elite few in her NFL dream job with the Denver Broncos.
View all news