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Student Projects to Aid the Disabled Awarded Competitive Grants

Against stiff national competition, two Rose-Hulman biomedical engineering senior design teams have won grants of $500 each from the NISH/DEED Financial Assistance Program for Assistive Technology Development. 

 Amerman project  
Rose-Hulman students EJ Oruche, '11, and
Sara Telezyn, '11, with young Michael Ammerman

The aim of the grants is to foster the design and building of assistive technology that will empower people with disabilities, and each year, only a small number of students earn these grants.

Last year, the success of a prosthetic forearm designed by Rose-Hulman students was widely celebrated as it helped young Michael Ammerman manipulate objects. When presented with his robotic arm,  according to his mom, Michael exclaimed, "'Mommy I look like a robot with this new arm! Can I keep it?'"

This year's teams will be developing two equally exciting projects:

Team 1

Mark Calhoun and Jacob Price will design and build a prosthetic arm for an eight-year-old boy with a shortened forearm. With the proposed prosthetic in place, the boy will be able to perform tasks like swinging a baseball bat more independently.  The Rose-Hulman students will solve design challenges, such as ensuring the prosthetic flexes at the elbow and creating a hand with which the 8-year-old can pinch and grasp objects.

Team 2

By designing and building a tank-based motorized wheelchair, Brad Foulke, Darius Samz, and Andrew West will help a four-year-old girl who cannot use her legs.  The 4-year-old would like to move around more independently when she plays outdoors with her family. So the team will look at safety and power considerations as it builds a chair that moves safely over the steep hills in the young girl's yard.