Tetra Ryerson

Engineering that breaks down barriers

Tetra Ryerson is a student run group that works with the North American Society of Tetra. Together we create assistive devices for individuals with disabilities

Adaptive Art Support

Our project integrates the principles of adaptive tools used for grip weakness and essential tremors. The objective of our product and its significance cannot be demonstrated better than by briefly investigating the life of Christy Brown. Christy (1932 - 1981) was an inspirational Irish painter and writer, who suffered from cerebral palsy since birth. Our product has been constructed to fit requirements that will help in using writing utensils with easier accessibility and convenience. The larger hand grip reduces the amount of strength and the need for a tight grip making it easier to hold writing utensils. The use of a large elastic material for the hand grip will allow for reduced effect of hand tremors. The base allows for easy sliding of the device to move the utensil with ease. The mechanism for adjustable height is for the varying lengths of writing utensils and also for therapeutic use in which by lowering the height, the user can grip a larger part of the utensil and practice their grip strength.

Accessibility App

The purpose of our project is to make a change and difference in the society of disabled individuals by developing an accessibility app that outlines various access points on the Ryerson campus. Our app will serve the purpose of guiding disabled individuals through the designated scope that we have chosen, and making an app that is easily accessible to every user. Our plan is to base our app on AccessAble by Creatanet, which maps out all the possible routes for a campus located in the United States and general GPS’s as they can track the exact location of someone at that moment. This app will be android-based, as it will accessible to more phones, rather than using iOS, which only targets iPhones.  This app will contain route guidance much like a normal GPS, but it designated only for the scope as this point, however it will also provide statistics for traffic in central hubs such as SLC, making the user more aware as to when they should access these areas. As parking, can be difficult, this app will also locate the best parking spots based on the user’s destination. As every person is unique, a person’s disability is also unique to that specific person. The goal is to try to make the app as user friendly and accommodating as possible. To ensure this, the user can choose preferences based on their disability so that they can use the app.

Wheelchair Basket

The objective of this project is to develop a wheelchair basket addition to allow wheelchair users to use a basket without any mobility and/or safety issues. We do not seek to simply create a device to rest on the laps of users, as this limits mobility, but rather an attachment to be part of the wheelchair whilst still being removable. An essential component of this will be storage of such accessory while not in use. The product will also be able to collapse in on itself and fold to the side of the wheelchair as a classroom desk folds to the side of a seat. This will allow the basket to be easily accessed when needed.

Weight Bearing Device

In the process of medical rehabilitation of the limb(s), either after trauma or post-surgery, physiotherapists provide the patient with a partial weight-bearing limit, for example 50% of body weight. Unfortunately, the patient has no accurate method to comply with the physiotherapist’s prescription. Often, the injured limb bears more weight than advised which hinders recovery. To solve this gray area of weight bearing, this project will develop a device that uses sensors and a processor to analyze forces acting on the limb to output a true value of load bearing on the patient. This system accounts for loads being applied directly to the limb (ex. Lifting weights/running on feet) as well as loads without any external applied force (ex. Raising legs without weights). The device also considers the direction of the applied force in case there is a moment force being applied to the limb. The sensors that obtain the force data transmit to the processor, which then decides whether the load currently being borne is more than the prescribed threshold or not. The wireless transmission features and the user-friendly interface allow for a comfortable use in practice, for both the patient and the medical personnel. Furthermore, the simplicity of the materials and the natively constructed components such as the software significantly reduce the production expenses, making it a cost-effective system.

With this device being available in physiotherapy, patients will no longer be susceptible of over-bearing on their injured limb. Whether it is any point of the arms or the legs, this device can measure the load being experienced on the specific injury site and act as an oversight, protecting the patient from putting too much stress on the limb during exercise.

EMG Controlled Prosthetic

The purpose of this accessibility project is to design and create an EMG controlled prosthesis that is functional, light and inexpensive compared to other prostheses options. This prosthesis aims to be detected and processed by the Leap Motion software, which is an interactive gesture sensing technology. This software detects hand, finger and palm movements creating a 3-Dimensional model of the limb and is used for control of various electronic applications (Guna et al., 2014). Developing a lightweight, inexpensive prosthesis to be detected by Leap Motion, will aid individuals undergoing prosthetic rehabilitation. This rehabilitation process includes building and developing body control, managing pain and aiding as a therapy for many amputees who suffer from Phantom Limb pain. The aim of this product is to use a lighter prosthetic along with Leap Motion controllers to help patients overcome the challenges of having to live with one or less upper limbs. In addition to Phantom Limb pain, challenges of rehabilitation to be overcome include speeding up the rehabilitation process by using a lighter prosthetic that does not require additional treatments for neck/shoulder stiffness that can be accompanied by the use of the standard prosthetic hook.

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