Making the Difference: Automated Rain Shield for a Mechanical Wheelchair
Christopher M. Pagán Rodríguez, Industrial Engineering Senior Student
Oscar J. Salgado García, Industrial Engineering Senior Student
Agustín Irizarry, PhD
Cristina Pomales, PhD
Mayra Méndez, PhD
During daily routines, disabled students suffer from diverse limitations that can affect both physical and academic performance. There are many gadgets that have been designed and created to facilitate the disabled population, however, other factors like portability, costs and user-friendliness can also represent a barrier towards self-sufficiency and allowance. A fellow student of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. As a result of his condition, he is not able to open an umbrella during rainy days making him unable to move between buildings across the campus. By studying the student’s needs and individual preferences, a rain shield was design in pursuance of creating an affordable and portable automated system controlled by Arduino.
This project was supported by the National Science Foundation contract CBET-1403753, “Making the Difference: An Industrial Engineering Capstone Design Experience to Benefit Adults with Disabilities.”