A Multidisciplinary Project Course on Innovative Assistive Technology for Engineering and Business MajorsBy Sun, Ying, PhD; Jouaneh, Musa, PhD; Comerford, Robert, PhD; RESNA 27th International Annual Conference 2004: Technology & Disability: Research, Design, Practice, & Policy,
Publication Date: 2004
Paper discusses a project conducted by the Mechanical Engineering, Business, and Biomedical Engineering programs at the University of Rhode Island to engage undergraduate students in the development of assistive technology (AT). A two-semester course was developed in which students designed four AT devices: (1) a self-lowering shelf assembly, (2) a rotating tabletop, (3) a motorized window opener, and (4) a motorized reach mechanism. The self-lowering table assembly was designed to bring the contents of a wall-mounted cabinet outward and to a lower level. A single motor was used to lower the pivoting shelves via two chains on the sides. The rotating tabletop was powered by a low-profile motor underneath the tabletop. The device was intended for people with limited mobility to access food, frequently used items, or tools by activating a switch. The motorized window opener was designed to open double-hung windows. The novelty of the design was its portability, as the linear actuator could be quickly and easily moved from one window to the next. The motorized reach mechanism was designed to be mounted on a wheelchair. The arm could be telescoped inward or outward via a powered screw. The one-year course gave the students sufficient time to finish their fully functional prototypes, drafts of patent applications, and business plans. The course assessment survey generally showed very positive responses from the students.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)