Making reading easier with BioMods

In a recent interview with Luca we discovered her love for outdoor activities like hiking and camping, as well as her passion for taking care of plants. Luca also showed her keen interest in reading, but highlighted some challenges she faces, especially when reading in unconventional places like the bus, bus stops, and even in the bathtub.


Luca shared that turning pages, especially in larger books, poses a difficulty for her. Sometimes, pages stick together, leading her to turn multiple pages at once.


Recognizing an opportunity to help Luca overcome these challenges, two members of our team proposed a solution that could make reading a more enjoyable experience for her.

First solution

Our team brainstormed two main ideas. The first involved extending Luca’s prosthetic arm with a sticky surface to make turning pages easier. The assumption was that by holding the book in the middle with her left hand, Luca could turn pages effortlessly with the sticky part of her prosthetic.

Second idea

The second idea considered using the prosthetic as a bookmark. Luca would hold the book with her right hand, and the prosthetic arm, equipped with a rubber-like material, would act as a bookmark. Two small holders would prevent pages from folding. 3D models were created to visualize these concepts.


To refine our concepts, we decided to observe how Luca reads books of different sizes and where she faces difficulties. Surprisingly, when testing, we found that turning pages in a small book was made easier by placing the book backward on her left upper arm and turning pages with her right thumb. Sometimes she is using even more unexpected way of turning pages. She puts a book on her head and uses her fingers to turn them.

New approach

Inspired by Luca’s natural movement, we shifted our focus from connecting the prosthesis to the upper limb to exploring attachments to other body parts. We envisioned a book holder prototype that would allow Luca to read comfortably during bus and metro trips or at home.


Our first prototype, a book holder hanger, showed promise but had some drawbacks. One part didn’t hold tight enough, and the other was too hard to take pages from. Despite these challenges, we created a 3D model for a more comfortable book holder that could be easily held between the legs.

Future development

Although we faced time constraints and lacked access to a 3D printer, our plans for the future involved creating flexible page holders and revisiting the initial idea of a sticky ball-shaped extension for the prosthesis. The aim would be to compare these ideas and determine which one makes the reading process more accessible for Luca, ultimately developing it further.