Recapping the TOM:Boston Makeathon

A noteworthy part of the Inclusion Summit was the TOM:Boston Makeathon, an event that grouped minds of all kinds to brainstorm and create solutions to everyday issues faced by those living with physical disabilities.

The 48-hour event was bigger than 3D printers and rotary saws. It provided a sobering look at how resilient and innately innovative humans can be when faced with challenging circumstances. No matter what the team, skill sets, or finished products were, this was a lesson learned by everyone in attendance.


Nurses also made waves at the Makeathon.


During the design, ideation and prototyping stages, it became increasingly clear how valuable the input from nurses was to the event. Alongside engineers, designers and programmers, 12 nurses and nursing students contributed to the conception and production of the eventual winning product.

That product is a portable clip, affectionately known as The Hippo, that enables the zipping of coats, jackets and sweatshirts using only one hand. The product, pioneered by Northeastern alumni Anand Shankar and 16-year old engineer Jack Cardin, was designed to help people affected by hemiparesis, a condition of muscular weakness or partial paralysis restricted to one side of the body.

Team Hippo from the TOM:Boston Makeathon
Team Hippo from the TOM:Boston Makeathon
After winning the Makeathon, team Hippo is continuing their product development with the help of the IDEA Venture Accelerator of Northeastern University. More details to come!

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