The motorized cup is helping wheelchair customers keep hydrated

Gary Lane, a Houston local with cerebral palsy, grew to become to Rice College’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen to assist in making the theory of ​​a ingesting assistive software a truth. Credit score: Brandon Martin/Rice College

Motor impairments comparable to the ones brought about through cerebral palsy make it tough for folks to accomplish even easy duties comparable to ingesting a sip of water.

Gary Lane, a Houston local with the situation, grew to become to Rice College’s Engineering Design Kitchen (Oshman) to assist in making the theory of ​​a ingesting assistive software a truth. Rice College engineering scholars Thomas Kutcher and Ravi Netheri rose to the problem, and the outcome was once the RoboCup, a robot software that allows folks with restricted mobility to stick hydrated with out help.

“We would have liked to make it conceivable for folks with cerebral palsy or equivalent mobility demanding situations to drink water independently moderately than having to depend on the assistance of caregivers,” mentioned Kutcher, a bioengineering primary. “The software is designed for wheelchair customers who will have problem conserving a cup, and we are hoping it is going to give customers higher freedom.”

Any individual with get admission to to a 3-D printer can bring together their very own RoboCup through downloading the directions, to be had at no cost at the RoboCup Crew’s OEDK web site. Kutcher and Netherese balanced problems with highbrow assets and entrepreneurship of their efforts to make sure that the results of their paintings can be helpful and available to people who wanted it. In spite of everything, they made up our minds to make RoboCup to be had at no cost.

The RoboCup may also be connected to customers’ wheelchairs and custom designed to best possible meet their mobility wishes. The battery-powered software is activated both through a proximity sensor or a button, relying at the customers’ wishes or personal tastes.

“We requested pros who paintings with individuals who have wishes very similar to Gary’s about what lets do to strengthen the software,” Kutcher mentioned. “They in reality appreciated our mission and showed its doable, however additionally they identified that with a purpose to achieve as many of us as conceivable, we wish to incorporate extra choices for construction the software, comparable to several types of sensors, valves and mechanisms for mounting the software on several types of wheelchairs.”

Credit score: Rice College

Making a tool extra available additionally manner simplifying it. The group got rid of one of the crucial extra complicated or pricey portions and located replacements for customized portions that required particular apparatus to be manufactured.

“It was once a problem to stroll that advantageous line between simplifying the software and sacrificing capability or sturdiness,” mentioned Netherese, a mechanical engineering primary. “We would have liked to stay it running smartly whilst proceeding to make it more effective and more cost effective. Balancing all of those concerns has been in reality difficult, however we’ve got reached some degree the place 3-D printing and assembling the software is now a lot more straightforward with easy, simply available equipment.” .

The scholars labored intently with Lin to refine the design, which went via a number of iterations. The prototype featured a camelback however was once scrapped for the fixed cup-and-straw model, which Lin mentioned appeared higher and interfered much less with motion.

“The present design was once extra sexy to Gary, and we predict it is going to be extra sexy to different customers as smartly,” Nethery mentioned.

“This group — our scholars and Gary — was once very chronic and keen to stay tweaking the design till they were given a running device,” mentioned Maria Oden, professor of bioengineering, director of OEDK, and co-director of the Rice 360 ​​Institute for World Building. Well being and group mentor. “Our engineers had been keen to take harsh comments from Gary when the software did not paintings in addition to we was hoping, and so they stored at it till they’d a much-improved design. Moreover, they sought after to ensure the design was once available to all those that sought after to make one.”

Each Gary and his mom, Andrea Lynn, expressed their hope that the mission would draw consideration to the struggles of folks with disabilities who’ve problem with one thing as simple as ingesting water.

Gary Lynn mentioned: “This cup will give independence to folks with restricted mobility of their palms.” “Doing this small job on my own will spice up the boldness of the individual the use of the software.”

Supplied through Rice College

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