Winter Quarter 2012

 Perspectives in Assistive Technology 

David L. Jaffe, MS and Professor Drew Nelson
Tuesdays & Thursdays   4:15pm - 5:30pm
Building 530 - Classroom 127

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Sample of Previous Projects

photo of vest for rechargable stimulator
A recharging vest for users of implanted Deep Brain Stimulators (2010)

photo of standing and walking aid
A standing and walking aid for improved balance and stability (2010)

Photo of device for wheelchair uses that facilitates opening doors
A wheelchair-mounted system that makes it easier for users to open doors. (2009)

Photo of a device for wheelchair users that aids in shopping
A device that facilitates shopping by wheelchair users. (2009)

Course Overview

Perspectives in Assistive Technology is a Winter Quarter course for students to learn about issues surrounding the design and use of technology that benefits people with disabilities and seniors.

This three-credit course consists of twice-weekly presentations by guest lecturers and tours of local medical facilities and engineering labs. Students pursue team-based projects that address problems faced by users of assistive technology.

Lectures are open to all students and community members.

For students whose schedule does not permit working on a team-based project, one-unit lecture-only options are offered. ENGR110 is a certified Service Learning course that satisfies the optional course requirement for the BSME degree and is an approved course for the Program in Science, Technology & Society.

The course objectives are to:

  • Expose students to the engineering, medical, and social issues facing engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in the design, development, and use of assistive technology

  • Engage students in a team-based project experience that exercises team working skills and applies an engineering design process to tackle difficulties experienced by individuals with disabilities and seniors

  • Provide an opportunity for students to interact with users of assistive technology in the local community along with health care professionals, coaches, and project partners

  • Enhance students' critical thinking and communication skills, with specific emphasis on in-class discussions, report writing, and presentations

  • Encourage students to use their engineering skills and design expertise to help individuals with disabilities and seniors increase their independence and improve their quality of life

Students can pursue further prototyping, fabrication, user testing, and iterative design for credit in the Spring Quarter as an independent study project (for graduate students) or a senior project in ME113 or CS194.

For more information, see the course syllabus.

Updated 01/04/2012

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