PI: Hansen, Steven and Wood, Byard D. Proposal Number: 1134255

State University's Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Senior Capstone Design Course that will design and provide innovative assistive technology solutions for the needs of persons with disabilities related to aging and that will also benefit persons of any age with disabilities. Four overarching goals drive the project's activities: 1. Engage students from engineering, business, and special education & rehabilitation in developing innovative design solutions that provide assistive technologies to aging persons with disabilities 2. Provide a valuable, practical, real-world capstone design experience for senior mechanical engineering students and students from other disciplines that participate 3. Give students experience with the multiple design processes required to get a creative design solution from concept to the marketplace (e.g., prototype levels, human interface design and usability, manufacturability, market constraints, business plan, etc.) 4. Develop a sustainable capstone design project program that extends beyond grant funding Intellectual Merit EDAAP will use MAE's Capstone Design Course to develop assistive technology devices and, ultimately, prepare them for the market place incorporating a process cycle of three one-year (two semester) development phases that include an Engineering Prototype Phase, a Manufacturing Prototype Phase, and a Market-ready Prototype Phase.

Intellectual Merit The EDAAP project will focus on creative and innovative design solutions that will enable the independence, mobility, and a level of activity to persons with the onset of progressively disabling circumstances due to the aging process. Senior engineering design students will design, build, evaluate, and prepare assistive devices for market that focus on 1) enabling independence in the home, 2) helping get people and items in/out of cars, 3) providing mobility assistance for performing tasks outdoors and in public places, and 4) providing mobility options for access to recreational activity. The project will begin with a list of 12 adaptive device student design projects submitted by EDAAP collaborators.

Broader Impact Key to project success will be the integration of collaboration and multidisciplinary support from across the university as well as local and regional stakeholders including senior centers, assisted living centers, county governments, and disabilities outreach and support organizations. Academics, care providers, and users/customers of such adaptive devices will consult with student design teams and assist with both lab and in-situ testing throughout the design phases. As design projects proceed through the three phases, students from the College of Business and the College of Education and Human Services will join the design teams to evaluate products, prepare market analyses and business plans, and help ready products to proceed to the Technology Commercialization Office and manufacturers. The commercialization process will occur by licensing the right to use the IP in products or by spinning off small manufacturing companies owned in part by the university and the inventors.

Outreach and Dissemination efforts grow out of the project's larger goals and focus on presentations to and activities with multidisciplinary student organizations and regional schools (including those with large Native American populations) to incorporate engineering design and assistive technologies into the classroom to create student interest and broaden student's scientific and technical foundation.

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Utah State University
United States
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