Date: Monday, August 22, 2022
Another RESNA Annual Conference, another successful Student Design Challenge (SDC)!
Whether you are a seasoned RESNA member or a first-time conference attendee, you may find yourself wondering what is the SDC? The SDC is a competition held in conjunction with RESNA's Annual Conference, which provides undergraduate and masters-level students - representing disciplines including engineering; computer information science; architecture; and physical and occupational therapy - an opportunity to create, develop, and showcase assistive technology designs that help people with disabilities.
Entries are judged by a group of AT experts on originality, quality of design, and usefulness to persons with disabilities, and the top SDC teams chosen as finalists attend the RESNA conference and present their design at both the Student Design Challenge and the Developers' Showcase. After presentations are complete, first, second, and third place rankings are awarded. These three teams are receive a monetary prize in addition to their complimentary RESNA student membership and conference registration.
The first prize of $1,000 is supported by the Joey Wallace Educational Scholarship Fund, in honor of Joey Wallace, an educator, mentor and beloved RESNA staff person. RESNA would like to thank the Joey Wallace Scholarship Fund for their continued support of and investment in the future generation of assistive technology professionals. Read more about the Joey Wallace Educational Scholarship Fund.
RESNA is pleased to announce the 2022 SDC winners:
First Place: $1000
Team: Shelbytron: An interactive robot to make pediatric physical therapy more fun
Institution: Brown University
Primary Author: Joshua Phelps
Abstract: Physical therapy can be hard work, so the goal of this project was to make it more fun for children. A robot, shaped like a dog sitting in a wheelchair, was built and programmed to encourage children to learn to walk. The robot can drive autonomously down a hallway, stopping frequently to turn and wait for a child to catch up before proceeding. The robot entertains children with rainbow-colored flashing lights, (bad) jokes, encouraging phrases, and a repertoire of over 100 songs. All of these functions are also controllable with a remote. Children and their caretakers have expressed their delight with the robot. Moreover, families and physical therapists report that children walk farther with the robot than they would otherwise.
Second place: $700
Team: Marco for Marco
Institution: Universidad Anáhuac Norte
Primary Author: Giovanna Ibarra
Abstract: The problem being assessed is designing a device that allows a visually impaired high school teacher to give classes to his students. The solution consists of a tactile tablet with a laser-cutted acrylic case with interchangeable templates that allow the user to write in a delimited area and make various diagrams. By using a tactile tablet for graphic design, the user is able to show his writing and diagrams to his students using the computer and projector in his classroom. We expect that the user is able to teach in a more comfortable way, and in the future, that maybe, more visually impaired teachers adopt this solution to teach.
Third Place: $300
Team: Toothbrush Buddy: A toothpaste dispenser for people with motor, cognitive, and/or visual impairments
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Primary Author: Madeline Lee
Abstract: People with dexterity, cognitive, and/or visual impairments may have difficulty applying the appropriate amount of toothpaste to a toothbrush due to challenges with simultaneously controlling the toothbrush and squeezing the toothpaste. These challenges impact a person’s ability to independently perform necessary hygiene self-care tasks. The Toothbrush Buddy’s final design uses an off-the-shelf dispenser with newly designed 3D printed track and lever attachments, and a feedback mechanism. This device prevents toothpaste spillage, releases consistent amounts of toothpaste, provides feedback indicating toothpaste is on the toothbrush and has high contrast components for users with low vision. This device supports a diverse consumer group including those with physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments, young children and older individuals with hand weakness. Through universal design, the Toothbrush Buddy allows individuals to reach their functional independence in brushing their teeth.
Look out for more information to be released in the coming months regarding the 2023 Student Design Challenge!