Dec 19, 2013 - ME 2300 Intro to Engineering Design

Photo Gallery - ME 2300 December 19, 2013

  • Judges Laura Hanlan, Amy Potts, Neil Tischler and Jerry Schaufeld

  • Elevating Seat - Dominick Polcari, Ethan Forbes, and Paige Archinal

  • Grabber Cane - Chadwick Witcher, Matthew DiPinto, Matthew Jackson, and Jason Lackie

  • 2nd Place (Tie) Compression Stocking Donner Device - Michael Sweeney, Taylor Roseen, Daniel Haley, and Joe Cieslewicz

  • Twist Top Opener - Anqi Tong, Sarah Thomson, Alexander Kafantis, and John Foody

  • Assist Dog Device - Matthew Lesonsky, Dustin Curley, Shawn Moes, and Cody Woodward-Wallace

  • Ice Skate Blade Aligner - Ryan Moran, Michael Delia, and Timothy Forest. Not shown is Fiona Ogren

  • Gator Gut Toy - Nicholas Houghton, Jared Breton, and Eli Wolfgang

  • Pool Cue Assist - Pitchaya Kuntanarumitkul, Amanda Pierce and Monica Preston (Jaime Espinola not shown)


We thank Dr. Allen Hoffman once again for hosting the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards in his ME 2300 Introduction to Engineering Design course.  The gains for students are evident in presentations where they take into account not only engineering, but business. They address customer need, value, feasibility, prototypes, implementation, and marketing, among other business aspects - they even assume a C-Suite title and responsibilities!

We also give our deepest appreciation to our judges Amy Potts, Principle of Stream Product Development, an award winning design firm; Neil Tischler, Principle of Tischler Resources, a product design and development firm; WPI Research and Instruction Librarian Laura Hanlon, and WPI entrepreneurship Professor Jerry Schaufeld. Our judges bring decades of experience to the table and each invests many personal hours in abstract review, prior art searches, Q&A during team presentations, and choosing winners. It is never an easy assignment to narrow the field to a few winners because all teams bring passion and performance to the podium!


We congratulate these teams: First Place: Elevating to New Heights - Adjustable Seat Cushion (for hip replacement patients); Second Place (Tie): Handy Helpers - Grabber Cane; and Second Place (Tie): Team Sock - Compression Stocking Donner. See team members and abstracts below.


1st Place Elevating to New Heights - Adjustable Height Seat Cushion
Paige Archinal, CEO; Ehan Forbes, CTO; Dominick Polcari, CIO

Annually, almost 300,000 people undergo hip replacement surgery. Following surgery, patients have strict limitations to the movements they can and cannot perform. One of these limitations is that they must sit in a position that keeps their hips above their knees. Otherwise, they risk dislocation of their hip and another trip to the operating room. Our product can be used as a cushion to elevate the patient to a safe sitting position. Its shape and easily adjusted height allow it to be used on various seats and couches around the user’s house. Its compact and lightweight structure also makes it portable, allowing the user to move it from seat to seat with little effort. Our product allows a patient to continue using their furniture after a hip replacement rather than spending money on completely new furniture that fits their needs.  

2nd Place (Tie) Handy Helpers - Grabber Cane
Matthew Jackson, CEO; Chadwick Whitcher, CTO; Jason Lackie, CIO; Matthew DiPinto, CMO/CFO

The Handy Helpers built a combination cane and gripper device. The device was built out of the need to combine mechanisms that would assist people with walking and reaching items that are out of their reach.  In order to help people walk, the best use was a basic cane. The cane could be altered to incorporate a gripping mechanism. A trigger attached to the handle of the cane is used to open and close the gripper at the base of the device. The gripper is three pronged which allows for maximum stability in the cane as well as increased gripper potential. The stable base allows the cane to stand freely and the three pronged structure ensures that the device can grip wider objects stably. An adjustable hinge above the gripper allows the mechanism to rotate up to 90 degrees.  This rotation allows the user to reach items that may not be directly ahead of him or her and reach items at a different angle.  These multiple uses allow the device to be a successful gripper and cane device.  

2nd Place (Tie) Team Sock - Compression Stocking Donner
Michael Sweeney and Joe Cieslewicz, Co-CEO/CTOs; Daniel Haley, CMO/CFO; Taylor Roseen, CIO

Compression stockings are used to treat many medical conditions (e.g., edema, varicose veins, phlebitis and aching legs). Putting on compression stockings requires strength and agility - bending over, gripping the stocking, spreading it with both of their hands, and guiding their foot in. For elderly who may have decreased strength and agility, this task becomes much more difficult. Many devices exist to aid in donning compression stockings, however many lack practicality and adjustability. Our device aims to address these issues by incrementally stretching the sock to fit individual leg sizes and keeping the user upright while seated. This device would be a useful tool to anyone who struggles with the donning of compression stockings.

Team Enable - Universal Twist-Top Opener
Sarah Thomson, CEO; John Foody, CTO; Alexander Kafantis, CIO; Anqi (Angel) Tong, CMO/CFO

One of the most frustrating ailments associated with aging is the reduction in finger dexterity and grip strength. These are telltale signs of arthritis, a condition which, according to the United States Center for Disease Control, affects nearly 50 million adults in the United States. Often times people over the age of 55 or who have arthritis experience difficulty being able to grip and open bottle tops of various sizes and diameters. While there are several products on the market that assist in the opening of bottle tops, they generally only target a specific type of bottle cap, such as a push and twist, or are limited in the range of sizes they can open. Our device, the Universal Twist-Top Opener, is an attempt at solving these problems. Through the integration of two different opening techniques, our device is able to open container tops with diameters ranging from soda bottles to peanut butter jars and everything in between. Additionally, our device is able to open various types of tops such as push and turn medicine bottles and traditional screw tops.  

The Beagles - Assistive Device to be used with Service Dog
Shawn Moes, CEO; Matthew Lesonsky, CTO; Cody Woodard-Wallace, CIO; Dustin Curley, CMO/CFO

Falling is exponentially modified for a person who cannot easily brace themselves, whether it be for a muscular issue or another cause. Our product aims to allow persons to use an assistive dog for balance and stability while walking. While similar products exist, ours aims to be geared towards the intended user, minimizing any potentially discomforting or harmful requirements when operating the handle, specifically while raising or lowering it when transitioning from in use to not in use. The handle and harness are constructed mainly out of PVC and ABS plastics in the prototype, however aluminum would be substituted for PVC for increased safety and durability in the final product. Project success was assessed based on design specifications generated from needs of the product and the intended user’s personal requests.

IncrediBlade - Ice Skate Blade Aligner 
Ryan Moran, CEO; Timothy Forrest, CTO; Fiona Ogren, CIO; Michael Delia, CMO/CFO

In the high intensity sport of figure skating, every piece of equipment must be highly adaptable to anatomical differences to prevent injuries. Many figure skaters must adjust the angle of their blade to account for anatomical misalignment in the leg. This issue creates discomfort, affects performance, and increases the risk of injury. Until now, there has been no other method to facilitate this adjustment besides trial and error. This process requires that new holes be drilled into the bottom of the boot for each adjustment, resulting in eventual degradation of the sole, consequently making the skate unusable. Our design will allow for the skater to easily adjust the angle of the blade without needing to drill new holes. The device clamps the blade to the boot with two bolts passing through a plate on the front blade base via two slotted holes. This allows the blade to translate across the length of the slotted holes on the plate when the nuts affixing the blade are loosened. This product was designed to suit figure skaters of all levels, from recreational skaters to professionals, and function with off the shelf blades of the users choice.

Blind Innovation - The Gator's Gut Feel n' Find
Eli Wolfang, CEO/CTO; Jared Breton, CTO/CIO; Nicholas Houghton, CMO/CFO/CIO

The toy industry, while offering a wide range of toy types and prices, does not offer many toy options for visually impaired children.  Our goal at Blind Innovation is to provide visually impaired children with toys that are fun and equally as educational.  To do this, we designed a toy that incorporates stimulating textures, jungle animals, and feature recognition to create “The Gator’s Gut Feel N’ Find”.  The premise of the toy is to have a child feel a molded imprint of a toy, like a toy frog, then reach inside a stuffed alligator’s stomach and feel amongst its contents for the toy frog.  There are also a variety of other animals inside the alligator’s stomach like a person, snake, anteater, and a toucan.  The toy comes with a large alligator stuffed animal with a sewn in stomach pouch, rainforest animals, and each animal’s respective mold.  The textures of the alligator and rainforest animals will stimulate children’s sense of touch and having them feel an animal's imprint helps strengthen their visual cortex’s ability to convert touch-based information into images.

Right On Cue - Pool Cue Assist
Jaime Espinola, CEO; Pitchaya Kuntanarumitkul, CTO; Monica Preston, CIO; Amanda Pierce, CMO/CFO

People in wheelchairs have trouble reaching across a pool table to play simple shots; shots that could be easily made from a standing position. When seated in an unelevated wheelchair, reaching the center of the pool table is impossible. The Pool Cue Assist acts as a cue support and a guide, allowing an extension of reach because the device is attached to the pool cue. The device utilizes a track running on a set of rollers, which creates a pivot point for vertical movement, as well as horizontal movement along the tracks. Our device allows ample length of track to ensure a powerful hit. Our device was designed for any size pool cue. The foam padding within the design allows for gripping of the various sized cues without harm to the cue itself.  

  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page