Engineering Students Develop Bioengineering Assistive Devices in SolidWorks

Malcolm Overall Device in SolidWorks Rice University
Biomedical and mechanical engineering students continue to amaze me in the products they design for rehabilitation and assistive living.  I was very fortunate that my colleague, Rene from Simulia (Abaqus) introduced me to a series of bioengineering research projects that use SolidWorks.  I asked students from Rice University (USA) and University of Waterloo (Canada)  to share with you.

Rice University students,  Jennifer Desmarais, Jessica Joyce, Kurt Kienast, Lawrence Lin, Leslie Miller, Allison Post from Mechanical and Bioengineering departments, presented on their project, "MALCOLM: Improving Pediatric Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Through Diagnostics" at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Bioengineering Conference.  Under the direction of their advisors, Dr Z.M. Oden and Dr. M.K. O'Malley, these students are part of an organization called Rice Helping Hands, (RHH).  RHH is tasked with design and developing a wrist rehabilitation device for spastic cerebral palsy pediatric patients.

The aim of their device is to strengthen the wrist extensor muscles of spastic CP patients during isometric contractions, through a visually engaging game interface.  MALCOLM, which stands for Multi-axis load cell object loading mechanism,  incorporates five subsystems: force measurement, hand restraint, arm restraint, stand and graphical interface.

 Spastic cerebral palsy affects over 350,000 children in the US alone, the RHH device will reduce costs by improving diagnostic capacity of doctors and the rehabilitation plan for the patient.

University of Waterloo students Jennifer Book and Isabel Giraldo from the Mechanical and Mechatronics department presented on their 'Collapsible Load Bearing Assistive Standing Device for Paraplegics."  Under the direction of their advisor, Sean Peterson, the students reviewed existing assitive standing devices for home use and realized they were impractical due to space requirements.

 Univ of Waterloo Assistive Standing Device Extended
In the product design phase, the students used SolidWorks to develop a collapsible standing device, taking up a much smaller footprint in the paraplegics home.

Univ of Waterloo Assistive Standing Device SolidWorks  Collapsible

In the SolidWorks assembly model, they also show the extended configuration.

Univ of Waterloo Assistive Standing Device SolidWorks Extended

Adjustable supports are spaced 30 inches apart to allow the user's wheelchair to fit within the standing device.

In the collaped configuration, the device stands 14 inches from the wall.

Univ of Waterloo Assistive Standing Device Collapsible

We are seeing more engineering students performing research that is directly affecting people's lives.   Thank you all for sharing.  Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard