A Novel Sensor Housing Design for the Smart Power Assistance Module (SPAM)

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Emily Zipfel BFA1, Rory Cooper PhD1, Erica Authier BS1, Edmund F. LoPresti PhD2, Jeremy Puhlman BS1, Rich Simpson PhD1, Sarah Wyszomierski1

1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
2AT Sciences, Pittsburgh, PA


The Smart Power Assistance Module (SPAM) is a system consisting of power assist manual wheelchair hubs and an obstacle avoidance system. The goal is to provide independent mobility to wheelchair users who also have visual and/or cognitive disabilities. SPAM is currently in its second of three phases, which entails designing and building a working prototype for the purposes of laboratory-based user testing. The objectives of the second phase prototype were to meet research and testing needs and bring the design one step closer to what it may look like as a consumer product. One of the main tasks in this redesign is that of the sensor housing. The new design is modular, durable and accurately adjustable and can accommodate multiple sensor configurations. It was manufactured out of a plastic resin using stereo lithography technology.


Wheelchair, robotics, sensor, modular, design


Emily Zipfel
2534 Beechwood Blvd.
Pittsburgh PA.15217.