Exercise, massage, and a broad range of treatments techniques are used to help individuals with a variety of needs ranging from muscle strengthening to wounds and bedsore treatment. These modalities are often administered by therapists at the direction of physicians. The treatment success depends, in part, on the therapists’ skills which vary from person to person and is not entirely repeatable. Such therapies are also relatively costly. There are limitations associated with a number of electro-mechanical therapy chairs, tables and beds developed for these procedures. This IPRO project will design and develop a computer-controlled bed to perform some of the afore-mentioned tasks without the need for a skilled worker, and do so repeatedly and reliably. This concept has potential to also address the needs for improved care for those that who suffer from bed sores and other wounds.
This IPRO project is based on a concept developed by the instructors and uses multiple driven actuators that, alone or in unison, can provide controlled and repeatable movement, pressure, massage, and support to select parts of the body as needed. More importantly, the concept accommodates customization to the needs of each individual at various stages of rehabilitation.
Currently, classwork has focused on a working prototype of the actuation and control system, along with a proposed bed design. Continued work is needed in the following areas:
The IPRO class size is limited to 20 students, on a first-come first-served basis. The project will have teams in human/user factors, design, engineering, computer control and coding, construction and assembly, and business. Students with background/interest in (a) pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical actuation system development and testing, (b) design, 3D modeling, and architecture, and (c) user research, marketing, and project management are also needed.