Winter Quarter 2011 Course Announcement

Perspectives in Assistive Technology

David L. Jaffe, MS and Professor Drew Nelson
Tuesdays & Thursdays   4:15pm - 5:30pm
Main Quad, Building 370, Classroom 370


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Tuesday, January 18th

photo of Doug Schwandt

Design Challenges in Assistive Technology
Douglas F. Schwandt, MS
Mechanical Engineer

Abstract: Doug will describe several examples of rehabilitation engineering projects he has worked on - giving some personal insight into the design process, relating his experiences, and passing along some helpful guiding advice he has received or learned over the years.

Biosketch: Doug Schwandt began his career in Rehabilitation Engineering with a Stanford ME210 (now ME310) student team design project creating the Handbike, the first arm-powered, two-wheeled bicycle for individuals with lower-limb disabilities. After graduation, he continued development of the Handbike as well as designing various other devices in the Design Development group at the Palo Alto VA Rehab R&D Center, including finger-spelling hands, hyper/hypo gravity devices and specialty cycle ergometers. Over the years, Doug has also consulted on exciting and challenging projects outside of the VA, including exercise concepts for long-term space travel, MRI compatible fixtures and mobility devices, and robots for physical therapy. No longer a VA employee, Doug continues to work with universities and companies as a free-lance consulting design engineer, and part-time as a springboard diving coach. His recent consulting projects include participating in the design of the prosthetic haptic interface system for the DARPA bionic arm and contributing to the development of a new model of the G-Trainer, by Alter-G.

Contact information:
Doug Schwandt
doug.schwandt -at-
Lecture Material:
Pre-lecture slides - 243 Kb pdf file
Slides - 1.36 Mb pdf file
Audio - 36:48 - 8.42 Mb mp3 file
  • Alter-G videos
  • HandBike video - 0:38 YouTube video

  • Each year, more than 700,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke...leaving nearly 6 million people who have had a stroke at some point during their lives. At Northwestern University's Balance and Falls Laboratory, students and scientists are focusing on how stroke and brain injury survivors recover and relearn how to walk. They're doing it with the help of experimental co-bots, intelligent robots that collaborate with physical therapists and patients.
    Stroke Rehab Program at Northwestern - 7:50 YouTube video
Links from slides:
Mobility Engineering Inc. - HandBike on AbleData
Bilenky's Cycle Works, Ltd - ViewPoint
National Geographic - Bionics
Haptic Tactor
Alter-G Inc.

photo of Maurice LeBlanc

"Give Hope - Give a Hand" - The LN-4 Prosthetic Hand
Maurice LeBlanc, MSME, CP

Abstract: There is a need in developing countries for prosthetic hands for amputees who have lost an arm due to industrial trauma, landmines, wars, etc. For those who have no medical resources and no money, the LN-4 is a worthwhile prosthetic hand. The design and the fitting of this hand will be demonstrated.

Biosketch: Maurice LeBlanc is a mechanical engineer from Stanford University with training in prosthetics and orthotics at UCLA Medical Center. His career has focused on assistive technology for people with disabilities with special interest in upper-limb prosthetics. He has worked at UCLA Prosthetics and Orthotics Program, National Academy of Sciences, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto VA Medical Center, and Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. In 2008, the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists awarded him the Titus-Ferguson Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest level of recognition bestowed upon an outstanding academician whose accomplishments and contributions have made a significant impact on the growth and development of the profession.

Contact information:
mauleblanc -at-
Lecture Material:
Slides - 283 Kb pdf file
Audio - 26:47 - 6.13 Mb mp3 file
Give Hope - Give a Hand Postcard
The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation
Amazing Rotary LN-4 Prosthetic Hand Projects - YouTube video
List of countries by population

Updated 01/19/2011

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