This fall 24 engineering and occupational therapy students in OTS-105 Assistive Technology spent hundreds of hours working on a semester long assistive technology project for a client with a disability. The client’s ages ranged from three to none-of-your-business, and they experience challenges such as cooking with one arm, or using an iPad with their elbow.

Team Keely, worked with an 8th grade student without motor control or sensation from the neck down. Their goal was to make a device that would allow Keely to independently raise her hand in school.

This team made up of Addie Harris (M.S. Occupational Therapy) and Rhea Montgomery-Walsh (B.S. Engineering Psychology). After several trainings at Bray, conversations with Keely, a meeting with Brendon Stafford at the new Nolop Maker Space, and Tim Moore at the Perkins Assistive Device Center, the team decided to used an arduino and a step motor connected to a light weight switch placed below Keely’s jaw. The motor was connected to a hand they made out of stiff paper, and could be raised or lowered with a single chin movement.

They then went through the development and testing process to create a working prototype. They then needed to build a box to encase the motor, driver, arduino and mounted the box and the switch to Keely’s chair.