Engineering ideas to help people in need

Using their love of engi­neering and tech­nology, a North­eastern stu­dent group has spent the last two years devel­oping prod­ucts that will make the lives of Mass­a­chu­setts res­i­dents living with dis­abil­i­ties easier. Enabling Engi­neering, which became an offi­cial stu­dent orga­ni­za­tion a year ago, grew out of a North­eastern senior cap­stone project that won the elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering com­pe­ti­tion in 2012. The winn…

Blog:  iNSolution

Capping off the capstones

I got to go on another field trip on Wednesday (have I men­tioned recently how much I love my job?). Not only did it mean nav­i­gating the infa­mous tun­nels for the first time, but I also got to meet some bril­liant stu­dents with even more impres­sive imple­men­ta­tion skilz. Two col­leagues and I made our way down to Haydn Hall, where we met some of the Elec­trical and Com­puter Engi­neering teams who won this year’s ECE cap­stone competit…

Students’ tech-​​based proposals ‘enable’ elderly and severely disabled

Hi, G.U.S. Meet G.U.S.—the Get Up Seat. The soon-​​​​to-​​​​be-​​​​prototyped assis­tance device will help elderly users get up from falls and give them sup­port when they start to feel weak. It’s the brain­child of North­eastern stu­dents Laurel McCal­lister and Ellie Schachter in part­ner­ship with Little Brothers—Friends of the Elderly, a national net­work of volunteer-​​​​based orga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to serving those 60 and up. The device—whos…

Students’ tech-​​based proposals ‘enable’ elderly and severely disabled

HI, G.U.S. Meet G.U.S.—the Get Up Seat. The soon-​​​​to-​​​​be-​​​​prototyped assis­tance device will help elderly users get up from falls and give them sup­port when they start to feel weak. It’s the brain­child of North­eastern stu­dents Laurel McCal­lister and Ellie Schachter in part­ner­ship with Little Brothers—Friends of the Elderly, a national net­work of volunteer-​​​​based orga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to serving those 60 and up. The device—whos…

Student project targets memory impairment

People with memory-​​​​impairing dis­eases, such as Alzheimer’s, are not only losing their memories—they’re also losing their inde­pen­dence. And as memory loss worsens, they rely may more on others to help them with daily tasks. For a senior cap­stone project, a team of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity engi­neering stu­dents sought a way to help, knowing that more than 15 mil­lion Amer­i­cans suffer from some form of dementia. Using Google Glass, the s…

Engineering capstone offers independence to physically disabled

There’s no right pace,” said Mohamed Kante, E’12, who worked with elderly and dis­abled patients at Kin­dred Tran­si­tional Care and Reha­bil­i­ta­tion — Craw­ford in Fall River, Mass. No matter how fast or slow he and his col­leagues offered patients bites of food, they could never match the patients’ indi­vidual needs. So Kante and five of his elec­trical and com­puter engi­neering class­mates decided to solve that problem with a senior caps…

With this robot’s help, the eyes have it

A robot named DARWiN may be the next evo­lu­tionary step in the way people with dis­abil­i­ties are able to com­plete everyday tasks. Cre­ated by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity engi­neering stu­dents as their senior cap­stone project, the Dis­ability Assis­tant Robot With i (Eye) Nav­i­ga­tion robot could help someone with a phys­ical dis­ability become more inde­pen­dent. The system allows a user to look at dif­ferent parts of a com­puter screen to…

Communication devices ‘enable’ children with disabilities

An inter­dis­ci­pli­nary group of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity stu­dents and fac­ulty have com­bined their knowl­edge of engi­neering and phys­ical therapy to design, develop, and then deliver two low-​​​​cost com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices to dis­abled chil­dren living at a pair of orphan­ages in Ecuador. Under­grads in Northeastern’s Enabling Engi­neering stu­dent group cre­ated a so-​​​​called com­mu­ni­ca­tion button and an iPad touch­screen guard, bot…

A key to communication for locked-​​in syndrome patients

For the past seven years, one man receiving care from LifeStream, a Massachusetts-​​​​based human ser­vices orga­ni­za­tion, has only been able to com­mu­ni­cate by blinking his eyes in response to yes-​​​​or-​​​​no ques­tions. He has cog­ni­tive aware­ness but is par­a­lyzed with respect to nearly all of his vol­un­tary motor mus­cles due to severe injuries he suf­fered in a car acci­dent. His con­di­tion is called locked-​​​​in syn­drome, which affects…

A brainy innovation takes flight

A team of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity engi­neering stu­dents has devel­oped a system that allows a pilot to fly a sim­u­lated air­plane using nothing more than his or her brain­waves — a pro­gram that has piqued mil­i­tary and private-​​​​sector interest. As part of their senior-​​​​year cap­stone project, stu­dents Nathaniel Kaye, Hamilton Kibbe, Boris Lippeveld, Kyle Mueller, Mike Nedoroscik and Rafael Perez devel­oped an inter­face that lets a pil…

Capstone project helps people who are blind navigate city intersections

Crossing a busy city inter­sec­tion can be a pre­car­ious task for any pedes­trian, a maze fraught with var­ious obsta­cles like cars, cyclists, trains, con­struc­tion, and other people on foot. Now imagine nav­i­gating with little to no sight. In an effort to make crossing the street sim­pler and safer for people who are blind or visu­ally impaired, seven recent North­eastern grad­u­ates cre­ated a smart­phone assisted nav­i­ga­tion app called…