The proposed SMART mount, a powered mounting and positioning system, provides individuals with significant disabilities access to and control over their immediate environment. It enables independent repositioning of devices by a person with little or no upper extremity function-from their bed or a wheelchair. With the SMART mount's ability to move, rotate and tilt devices and trays, a person can move essential items into usable positions, allowing them to easily and independently change activities. For example, they can change from using a communication device to taking a drink, or move things out of their visual field and into a better position for driving their wheelchair-without waiting for assistance Positioning of mounted devices is controlled through an accessible method of choice, such as a switch, voice or joystick control. The accessible and programmable controller allows the setting of custom "sweet spots" for quick and easy movement to reach specific positions. The system moves in a coordinated motion, synchronously adjusting the position of the arms, tilt and height. When preferred, rotation at the joints, tilt and height may be selectively adjusted with the chosen accessible controls. SMART mounts are Scalable, Modular, and Accessible Robotic Technologies. The principal building block of the SMART mount is the SMART joint-an integrated package within a housing, consisting of a motor, gear set, bearings, and proprietary motor controller, including a position sensor and wireless transceiver. The SMART joint includes a worm gear set in order to provide the torque required to move a sizable load, up to 15 pounds, and to hold it place when a person tilts in their wheelchair. Each arm consists of two SMART joints connected by an extruded arm segment. Reorienting the SMART joint ninety degrees provides a tilt function. A SMART mount system consists of one or two arm segments, tilt and height adjustability, an accessible controller and user interface. SMART modules for tilt and height adjustment can be used and incorporated with manually-operated mounts, providing cost-effective powered functionality. Phase II focuses on: 1) Developing an accessible user interface with a touch pad;2) develop approaches to expand access through adhoc networks, wheelchair controls, and USB devices 3) design hardware required for the full mounting system, including the SMART joint, and connections to devices and wheelchairs;4) design and develop the lift module for height adjustability;5) design for manufacturing;6) performing tests to confim usability Research methods: 1) Design and develop product using SolidWorks;build prototypes 2) electronics design and firmware development and testing;3) design, build and test fully-functioning units;4) produce tooling and near-production units for testing with consumers;5) involve people with disabilities and professionals in testing prototypes and use their feedback;6) use prototypes in emissions and immunity testing;7) destructive testing

Public Health Relevance

People with disabilities need immediate and ergonomic access to a range of essential devices and activities across a variety of environments, from their beds, wheelchairs and workstations. When people are less mobile, their need for increased access within reach is even more critical. End users of the underlying technology, the Scalable Modular Accessible Robotic Technology (SMART) mount will experience improved access to critical devices, increased independence, and reduced reliance on others.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ETTN-K (10))
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Shinowara, Nancy
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Blue Sky Designs, Inc.
United States
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