May 3-4, 2010 - ME 3506 Rehabilitation Engineering

Photo Gallery

  • 1st Place: Benjamin Allen, Mari Freitas, Nick Hunnewell, and Nathan Lee

  • 2nd Place: Deanna Flaherty, Ivana Indruh, and Joe Worthen

  • 3rd Place: Meaghan Busteed, Bhavika Shah, Kushal Palkhiwala, Trevor Olsen

  • Honorable Mention: Andrew Kazanovicz, Melissa Kuhn, and Brittany McNally

  • Honorable Mention: Obadiah Kopchak, Benjamin Johnson, and Chad Munchbach

  • Honorable Mention: Jae Seok Lee, Kushi Sellahennedige, Talha Riaz, and Victor Montero

  • Honorable Mention: Michael Zervas, Felicia White, and Eric Donahue

  • Ben Johnson demos the Freedom Mobility Safer Stair product to Judges David Elliot and Amy Potts

  • Eric Donahue demos the Mobile Bath Shower Assistant product

  • Nick Hunnewell demos the Grab Bot to Judge Amy Potts


We thank Dr. Allen Hoffman for hosting the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards in his ME 3506 Rehabilitation Engineering course.  The student benefit is evident in their presentations where they are accounting for customer need, value, feasibility, prototypes, implementation, and marketing, among other business aspects of design.  We also give our appreciation to our judge team, Amy Potts, Principle of Stream Product Development, an award winning design firm, and David Elliot, Founder, 1st Principles Design. Four hours into the presentation and judging process, the winning teams emerged.


We congratulate these teams: First Place: Design Solution Corp. - The Grab Bot; Second Place: Dee & Dynamic Duo - Transferring a Patient to and from a Hospital Bed; and Third Place: Tortoise and Hare Corp. - Toy for Children with Disabilities. See team members in the abstracts below.

Honorable Mentions were given to these teams: Club 65+, Stair Climbing Assistive Device; Freedom Mobility, Safer Stairs; Team Tub, Mobile Bath and Shower Assistant; and S.O.A.P., Shower Seat


Club 65+  - Stair Climbing Assistive Device
Andrew Kazanovicz, CEO; Melissa Kuhn, CTO; Kathryn Partridge, CIO; Brittany McNally, CMO

The need for devices that assist elderly people with disabilities associated with aging is evident as the elderly population is growing drastically. Elderly people have difficulty with simple tasks each day and these difficulties could be subsided through the use of rehabilitation devices. More specifically, a device to aid the elderly in ascending and descending stairs would be beneficial to a substantial part of the elderly population. The group has created a device involving a handrail with vertical, ergonomic grips in addition to a lumbar belt support that will add value to the current StairSteady device.

Design Solutions Corp. - The Grab Bot
Benjamin Allen, CEO; Mari Freitas, CIO; Nick Hunnewell, CFO/CMO; Nathan Lee, CTO

Because of the dramatically increasing rate of elderly people in the United States, there is a need and demand for assistive devices in order to help them perform simple every day tasks.  A large number of elderly people have arthritis and other muscular disorders which prevent them from grabbing/holding or picking up items on their own.  D.S. Corp has come up with a device called the "Grab Bot."  The "Grab Bot" will act as an extension of the arm and hand and have similar function and movement to a human hand in order to grab/hold or pick up items for both near and hard to reach places.

Freedom Mobility - Safer Stairs
Obadiah Kopchak, CEO; Benjamin Johnson, CIO; Chad Munchbach, CMO

One of the leading causes of injury for America's growing 65 and older population is that of falling at home, and one of the most dangerous places to fall is down the stairs.  The current market for home safety technologies with respect to using the stairs is reasonably developed at two extremes of technology, either extremely low tech i.e. hand railing based systems, or extremely expensive with motorized stair lift systems costing over $1500 per flight of stairs before installation.  Freedom Mobility aims to create a technology that will allow those with limited mobility to make their homes a safer place affordably by creating a technology that fills the development void between simple hand rails and stair lifts.  Our company plans on developing a technology that is more robust than the British Stair Steady and make it available to clients in the United States.

Tortoise and Hare Corp. - Toy for Children with Disabilities
Meaghan Busteed, CEO; Bhavika Shah, CIO; Kushal Palkhiwala, CMO/CFO; Trevor Olsen, CTO

Our team has discovered a need for toys that have an interactive and social component that simultaneously facilitates the development of motor abilities for children with disabilities. These toys would need to consider user safety and satisfaction as two of the most important aspects. We have decided on a toy idea based on a two track racing game operated by a single-switch buddy button which multiple children could enjoy providing a social component. The addition of light and sound elements within the toy would make the design more universally adaptable for children with hearing or visual impairments. We hope that our toy can fill a gap by providing a safe, affordable and fun toy for children with disabilities.

Team Tub - Mobile Bath and Shower Assistant
Michael Zervas, CEO; Felicia White, CTO; Michael Zervas, CIO; Eric Donahue, CMO/CFO

Bathing injuries, including burns and falls, are frequent among the elderly due to limited mobility and slower reaction rates.  Therefore, a new shower seat design has been developed that allows the elderly mobile freedom and a feeling of independence in the bathtub.  The chair is designed to move along the tub and provide the necessary assistance for the elderly to enter and exit safely.  Additionally, a new, rotational shower head accessory gives the elder quick and safe control of the water to prevent potential skin burns. 

S.O.A.P.  - Shower Seat
Jae Seok Lee: CEO; Kushi Sellahennedige: CTO; Talha Riaz: CMaO; Victor Montero: CIO

 Many disabilities are associated with aging, which makes it difficult for the elderly to perform daily activities such as bathing. Bathing is an issue and accidents that may occur during this daily activity may be life threatening. This is mainly due to the slippery surface while taking a shower. Our shower seat design allows the elderly to get in and out of the tub safely while preventing them from falling or slipping. Our product also provides better access to the bathing accessories.

Dee & Dynamic Duo - Transferring a Patient to and from a Hospital Bed 
Deanna Flaherty,CEO; Ivana Indruh, CIO; Joe Worthen, CTO

When one hears of a hospital, the major concern is often on the patients who are being taken care of in the facility; however, seldom does one focus on the staff providing the care to these patients. The transferring of a patient, whether it is from a bed to a gurney or a gurney to another location, is a difficult task for the caregivers. It is even more difficult when the patient should not be moved due to injuries. The task of moving a patient is a pain in the back, literally. Often nurses will injure themselves in the attempt of transferring a patient safely. Dee and the Dynamic Duo are putting an end to this, the team has designed a system that will eliminate the dangers and the pain associated with the transfer of a patient. There will be no more back, shoulder, neck, or hand pain for the caregivers; no more lifting by the corners of the bed sheets, and no more six personnel to transfer a patient. This device is every caregivers dream come true! 

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