Archive for the 'Project Idea' Category
Project Idea Assignment

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Mabel Flores- Business Plan

Can you imagine a world without having to charge your favorite electronic devices? For Example something essential in your everyday life like it is your cell phone. Every time we forget our cell phones or have no battery. We fill miserable and incomplete. Imagine the frustration people feel that are dependent on their wheelchairs and end up stranded due to a loss of charge and have to wait long hours to recharge their battery.  My product idea is a self generating recharging system. How it will work? By creating an adaptor for the mechanism of the wheelchair that will recharge or maintain the charge to battery. The adaptor will recharge the battery while the wheelchair is in motion.  The adaptor will be able to adapt to any wheelchairs battery.  My product will be very beneficial to customers because it will give them a piece of mind. As well as making their lives easier and more worried free.  This recharging system is different because unlike the conventional wall chargers my idea will recharge the battery while in motion and it will be adaptable to any battery operating wheelchair. I did a some research and I did not see anything similar available for purchase. Therefore, it is a unique product and a solution to an unmet need.

gory details

Lauren Smith – Battery Monitoring

This idea comes from my boy friend / fiancé’s mother. She was in a car accident about 4 years ago and went from being super active to having to get around in a motorized wheel chair. She’s rather flakey so she waits until the last minute to get the battery replaced when the capacity becomes depleted. When we were visiting in July she actually almost ran out of juice going to the place that replaces the battery.

Ultimately these batteries are heavy and it takes some level of planning to get these things replaced. I’d propose a system that tracks battery capacity and, aside from alerting the chair user when it’s time to replace the battery unit, would also give them the option to notify a service that would come to you to do the replacing! This system could be used just by staff at a living facility or could be scaled up to be an area-wide service.

I’ll attempt to elaborate on this a bit better in the near future.

Aaron Cunningham – 360-degree TruView camera system

Have you ever been completely inconvenienced by your surroundings?  Those constrained to a wheelchair know the feeling all too well.  Much of the world was not designed with their needs in mind.  Many wheelchair accidents have been caused by the inability of the occupant to view his or her surroundings in its entirety.  Our 360-degree TruView system helps to alleviate this obstacle by providing an accurate and real-time representation of the world.  Armed with this capability, wheelchair occupants will no longer need to worry about costly damage or even injury that would have previously resulted due to a lack of visibility.  Able to be fitted to any wheelchair model, the TrueView system provides value and peace of mind to occupants, family members, and facility staff.  Don’t explore this world with blinders on; enjoy it to the fullest and live worry free with TrueView!

Sydney Blanton – GPS Locator

Imagine you are driving alone at night, when your car begins to shut down. Before you realize it, you are stranded on the side of the road in complete darkness with no one around to help you. It just so happens that you don’t have your cell phone with you, therefore, there is not way to communicate to someone that you need help. You are stuck. Luckily, there have been products and services created to solve this problem, such as On Star. Through On Star, a GPS system is put into the customer’s car with an emergency button programmed to alert On Start of an emergency when the button is pressed. So, why not incorporate what On Star does into electric wheelchairs?  This device comes in two parts. It is a GPS tracker connected to the wheelchair with an emergency button located in a convenient spot on the wheelchair. The second piece keeps track of the GPS device on the wheelchair. This piece is given to a friend or family member who then will be alerted by the press of the  button when an emergency situation arises. So, in an emergency situation, the person in the wheelchair may press the button alerting someone with the other device that he or she needs assistance. Once, the family member or friend is alerted, he or she will also be given directions as to the whereabouts of the person in danger through the GPS tracking system. It should be fairly easy to implement, as well as it keeps those in wheelchairs safe and eases the minds of loved ones.  

Mike Ditch -Business Plan Class – Wheelchair Visibility Improvement Idea

Imagine going out for your late evening run, and as you’re looking through your dresser for some running clothes you realized you should have done your laundry two days. As a result, you grab a pair of black shorts and a long-sleeved black shirt. You put on your crazy comfortable all-black knee high running socks, and lace up your favorite running shoes which conveniently also happen to be black. It’s a little cold out, so you don your lucky black beanie and head out for your run. Three hours later you return home, and realized you lost count how many times you heard a car screech its brakes as it honks violently at you. You couldn’t figure out why everyone was bent out of shape, you always run that same route with no sidewalk, and absolutely love the feeling of the gravel road beneath your feet.

That didn’t sound the like the smartest idea did it? Well, in the real world there are some individuals who are forced to travel at night and are unable to make themselves properly visible to cars traveling down the road. Countless wheelchair users are forced to travel in lesser used roads due to the lack of sidewalks or an all-terrain wheelchair. As a result, they are at the mercy of attentive drivers with really good vision and reflexes, and lady luck. Sadly, the marketplace is ill-equipped to assist with wheelchair visibility. 3M makes generic visibility adhesives, a handful of companies makes strap-on LED/LCD headlights for wheelchairs. Yet, nobody currently makes wheelchair specific visibility enhancing adhesives or LED/LCD lights. Step in WSU’s joint venture, and their wheelchair specific visibility adhesives. Have the extra cash AND want increased visibility? Then take a look at our LED/LCD light system geared for wheelchairs. Your spokes, foot rests, arm handles, and back of your wheel chair will be lit up with high intensity lights to not only light up the area around you for your convenience, but to let motorists know in plenty of time that they need to share the road with you!

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My idea involves improving the visibility of wheelchairs in the dark. Based on feedback from our meeting at CPRF, one concern of a few residents was the danger associated with moving about at night in their wheelchairs. Some areas they have to travel through require them to travel in the road and they’re afraid of being struck in the dark due to the lack of visibility their wheelchairs have. My initial solution involved developing wheelchair specific visibility improving adhesives on the wheel spokes, foot rests, arm handles, and the entire back of the unit. Seeing this is project is geared towards electrical engineering, I was thinking the adhesives could replaced with LCD or LED lights. This would increase the difficulty of the project, but would make it unique to the marketplace. A quick look through the marketplace only yielded generic visibility adhesives, and LCD/LED head lights specifically for wheelchair use. As a result, I think either method would be an upgrade in the market, and a unique product.

  • My product increases the visibility of wheelchairs, thereby allowing them to travel in the dark with less worry and danger.
  • My product idea is simply an upgrade over current products in the marketplace that fail to make themselves specific to wheelchair use (adhesives) or fail to address the entire wheelchair visibility issue (LCD/LED lights).
Taylor Russell – Motorized Wheelchair Umbrella

I would like to create a motorized umbrella that can be attached to wheelchairs.  The residents at CPRF indicated a need for this.  There are manual umbrella attachments on the market, but it does not appear that there are any automatically retractable models.  This would be very useful if a resident were to go out in the rain, sun, or any other harsh weather.  The operation of the umbrella could interface with the wheelchair’s existing controls, or could just have a separate switch.

Neal Hockersmith – Big Button for Home Appliances

People with limited motor skills often have a difficult time performing simple task such as turning on (or controlling) a home appliance (coffee maker, blender, etc) due to the small configuration of the controls.  What if the person had something as simple as a big button to control the appliance?  This tool would be able to adapt to the appliance and take control of its commands and ease the life of a limited motor skills person.

Side-notes/concerns:

  • I am not sure of any tools like such on the current market place
  • Being able to easily adapt this tool on the existing appliance would need to be figured out (plug n play type)
  • Consideration would have to be made on the amount of control for the appliance (turn on/off, other commands)
  • The best case scenario would be a tool that could be installed on practically any appliance or the tool adapted on every appliance and controlled via Bluetooth or some other wireless technology with a ‘big’ easy to use screen
  • Or be able to easily modify the appliance by adding a ‘big button’ type of control that stays with the appliance.

 

Eric Robinson – Wireless Induction Charger for Power Chairs

This was a last minute addition idea for our team. I thought I would share some more detail.

The wireless induction charger for wheel chairs would allow a person with limited mobility to simply park their chair in one spot and charge their wheel chair without ever needing to plug it in. This would be especially useful for those who have trouble reaching power outlets and would eliminate the need to remember to plug in every night. The product could be designed to allow multiple nodes around the house that would allow convenient and fast charging throughout the entire home while watching TV or eating dinner. This idea could also be used in public areas such as a movie theater in which the user could simply park and enjoy the movie all while not having to worry about the current charge level of their power chair.

This product is believable and the technology is readily available to achieve this. As some have mentioned, their is a limitation to the distance that you can inductively charge a device but this can be handled by placing the charging surface either on the wall or on the ground and then by parking the chair in the correct position. Other companies have done a similar setup with smart cars in which a surface is placed in either the driveway or garage that allows the user to drive directly on top of the device and begin charging.

This product is different from others on the market in that it will be designed to work with all popular models of wheel chairs and will cater to those with limited mobility. There are concept designs of wheel chairs that claim to incorporate this technology in the future but it is still in the research stages according to the information that I have found. It will also fail to be able to be retrofitted to other models of wheel chairs as these other companies seem to want a proprietary design incorporated in their model. This design will be available for all makes and models of wheelchairs and could potentially be used as standard for anyone who wants to charge their power chair devices.

Erika Nulan Handicap enabled guitar

I was listening to a radio story (similar story http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96999557) some time back that mentioned musicians who for whatever reason (accident, illness . . .) had lost the ability to play an instrument.  New music could be written to allow a person to play an instrument such as a piano with one hand but what is really needed are new instruments.  Tucked that away in the back of my head along with a thought about a musician friend who had lost an arm to cancer. 

Now I’d like to attempt a pad that allows a person to finger a guitar by means of a footpad similar to a dance pad (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=dance%20pads&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Adance%20pads).

Still working on how to produce and attach the mechanism that will finger the guitar.  I am thinking some kind of tent like structure that attaches where the tuners are. It will have 4 fingers that telescope in out to sliding into position depending on where the guitarist steps