The STEM 2 course focuses on engineering projects and assistive technology. My group was tasked with creating a door barricade for wheelchair users.
In today’s world, shootings in workplaces and schools are constantly happening, making it is crucial that all individuals be prepared during an active shooter situation. For individuals who use wheelchairs, it can be difficult for them to efficiently barricade themselves into a room when needed. The goal of the project is to design a device(s) to help individuals who use wheelchairs and/or have reduced arm strength quickly barricade a door to hinder the entry of an active shooter or any unwanted individual.
One original idea was the Over-the-Door Deadbolt. This design capitalizes off the strength of the wall and doorframe to effectively bar any intruder from entering. Not requiring any permanent installation, it secures to the doorknob using a loop made from a high strength material such as nylon rope. The bar that hangs below will be made from a material like aluminum. The bar must be made long enough so that no matter which way it falls due to gravity, it will still prevent an intruder from entering. The location of the device central on the door makes it accessible to all users.
Another idea was the Wedge-on-a-Stick, which was suggested and supported by the client. Using a high-grip material on the bottom of the wedge, the device can be jammed into the bottom of the door to entirely prevent its opening. The stick extending from the wedge ensures the device’s accessibility to wheelchair users, and force from the base of the wheelchair can be used to drive the device into the door.
We ended up integrating the two ideas to create a multipurpose device.
The final device met all of the level one requirements, all of the level two requirements, and one of the level three requirements (additional work is needed to figure out how to make the device more accessible to users with limited arm mobility and/or only the use of one arm). The final device incorporated both iterations of the previous prototypes, effectively functioning to prevent an intruder from entering both inwards and outwards opening doors.
Here you can find a link to the process we used to create the final product.