RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, is sponsoring two different assistive technology design competitions this year: the 2015 Student Design Competition and the International SIG's "Do-It-Yourself" competition. Both competitions have an early April deadlines which are fast approaching.
For over 30 years, RESNA's Student Design Competition (SDC) has showcased creative and innovative assistive technology designs that help people with disabilities function more independently. Student teams represent a wide variety of disciplines including mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineering; computer information science; architecture; and physical and occupational therapy. Entries are judged on originality, quality of design, and usefulness to persons with disabilities. SDC winners have frequently moved on to become leaders in the field of assistive technology.
This year's competition is once again sponsored by the Center for the Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances & Technology (TREAT), which is offering a cash prize and product development consultation for the student design awarded "Technology Most Likely to Become Commercially Available." This is the fourth year TREAT has been a sponsor. Past award-winners of the TREAT prize include AlphaBraille, designed by a team from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Doodlebug, California Lutheran University; and the Day to Day Independent Prosthetic, University of Toledo. Finalist student teams will receive conference registration and travel stipend to attend RESNA 2015 in Denver, CO, where they will have the opportunity to present their design and network with rehabilitation engineers, developers, clinicians, manufacturers and researchers.
The deadlines for this year's competition are:
- April 3, 2015 - Registration on the SDC competition website
- April 17, 2015 - Submission of final project.
RESNA's Interational Special Interest Group is sponsoring a "Do-It-Yourself" Assistive Technology Design Competition to encourage innovative designs for people with disabilities in developing countries. Thanks to a generous donation from Whirlwind Wheelchair International, cash prizes are being offered for first, second, and third place. In addition, the winning designer will receive a conference registration and a travel stipend to attend RESNA 2015, and present the design to conference attendees.
To support the competition, RESNA member Alexandra Enders has written a resource article for those interested in pursuing their own DIY designs. The article has references and weblinks to DIY communities. Click here for the article.
The deadline for project submission is April 1, 2015. Please click here for contest rules and how to submit.