Stem II is a hands-on group science project specifically targeting assistive devices. Over the course of three months, students apply for positions at a “company”, reach out to clients, and build a physical assistive device! First, students apply for roles (CEO, CTO, CIO, or CMO) and then a CEO, chosen by Dr. C, interviews members and creates a team. I was the CTO, or the chief technical officer, and I was in a group with Vanessa (CEO), Nihitha, (CIO), and Travis (CMO). This group dynamic was the perfect balance of light-hearted fun and productivity. Through midnight meetings to go over documentation and daily dunkin runs, our group was able to successfully create an assistive sit-to-stand device.
Advisor: Dr. Kevin Crowthers, Ph.D. (Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science)
Getting in and out of a seated position can put too much of a burden on joints, causing pain and discomfort for those who have weaker joints and muscles. A STS (sit-to-stand) assist device will be manufactured to reduce the burden on the limbs of individuals struggling to do so by utilizing a combination of springs and 3D-printed parts.
The task of getting in and out of the seated position is known to be a struggle for many, especially the elderly, the injured, and the disabled communities. Our client, client W, is a member of the elderly community and struggles to complete the sit-to- stand maneuver. With these difficulties often faced by members of different communities, an accessible solution is necessary.
Our group went through many interactions of preliminary designs, construction, and testing during the months of March, April, and May. In the end, we ended up continuing with the Spring Seat prototype since it fulfilled all of the Level 1 Criteria and performed the best during testing with our client.
Below are our CAD renderings, drawings, and final photos of our final product, the Spring Seat.
First, initial sketches were drawn on notability. Those sketches were then used for reference to build cad models of the desired designs. From there some parts were 3D printed, some were cut custom, and others were borrowed from the First Robotics team. Finally, all parts were assembled to create our final prototype!
Our device is a spring powered system consisting of two platforms: a base, and a seating platform upon which the user sits. Between the two platforms are springs which act as a pushing force against the bottom of the client during STS (either sit- to-stand or stand-to-sit). The platforms are connected by hinge so that when the springs are fully extended without weight on them, the device creates an angle of incline beneficial to the user. The device also includes removable armrests for the user to hold onto for support during STS, if their seat does not already include them.