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Students create devices for disabilities

Students majoring in Engineering and Occupational Therapy have collaborated to create devices to meet the needs of individuals with physical challenges as part of the Adaptive Equipment Project (ADEP). They will present their designs in two separate sessions: the first on Monday, April 22, 2013, and the second on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, both at 1:00 p.m. in room 121, Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building. The presentations are free and open to the public.

The efforts are a the result of interdisciplinary class projects in Electrical Engineering, taught by Dr. Henry Ansell, Assistant Professor of Engineering; Mechanical Engineering, taught by Dr. Rungun Nathan, Associate Professor of Engineering; and Occupational Therapy, taught by David Kresse, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy.

On Monday, April 22, student teams will present the following projects:

  • door opener/stopper device that allows user to easily move through doorways;
  • mailbox that will open and lift mail with the touch of a button;
  • electronic device that will easily turn wheelchair brakes on or off;
  • portable detachable armrests; and
  • wheelchair that allows user to reach higher areas.

On Wednesday, April 24, the following projects will be presented:

  • automatic trashcan mechanism that is easy for those in wheelchairs to use;
  • multi-functional access chair to accommodate user as body weight changes;
  • “swirly spoon” designed for people with weak hands who have trouble stirring dishes;
  • LED-based whole-house visual indicator for everyday notifications like doorbell, telephone, fire alarm, etc.; and
  • “third hand” aid for the shower to dispense shampoo and conditioner for people with weak arms.

The annual event, formerly known as Devices for Disabilities, was initiated and is coordinated by Ansell, along with Nathan. For more information, contact Ansell via e-mail at HGA1@psu.edu or Nathan at rungun.nathan@psu.edu, or David Kresse at dck12@psu.edu.

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