Category: Wheelchair Accessories General

Rock’n Roller

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of a motorized sensory platform for a high school student with shaken baby syndrome to allow her to enjoy movement and music independently. The young woman has severe cognitive, visual, and physical disabilities and poor muscle coordination. She can only voluntarily control her head and right hand. She spent most of her time in a manual wheelchair and was unable to propel herself. Her teachers were unable to give her constant 1-on-1 attention. Designers created the Rock’n Roller, which allowed the young woman to experience motion and music as independently as possible. The device consisted of a motorized platform onto which wheelchair is loaded and secured. The platform gently slid back and forth along a drawer slide track for a distance of 10 inches. The young woman could access a switch-adapted MP3 player loaded with 101 of her favorite songs. The MP3 player and the platform motor were controlled by two separate switches, which could be mounted in the user's reach, using either her head or right hand. The overall design was able to support a large amount of weight, could be stored in the cramped classroom, and was easily transported by one person. The Rock'n Roller's platform and base were made from a sheet of 0.75-inch birch veneer plywood, chosen for its strength and appearance. The top platform rolled on a set of nine 2-inch castors. The platform was guided via two 24-inch full extension drawer slides that also served to keep the platform in place while transporting it. The motor was a 12 volt, 6.5-amp gear motor capable of generating 45 feet-pounds of torque. A custom motor shaft attachment was included and a 3-foot rod connected the motor shaft to the top of the platform. As the motor turned at 6 revolutions per minute, the shaft attachment made a 10-inch diameter rotation, which the rod translated into 10 inches of linear movement of the top platform. The motor and shaft attachment were covered with a clear acrylic box to prevent injury while still allowing observation by other students. Biscuit jointing was used throughout to provide a professional appearance and durable connection. An Ablenet Powerlink controller enabled the user to control the device through switch activation. The platform came with a 3-foot loading ramp, so that teachers and aides could easily transfer her wheelchair on and off the platform. Once in place, the chair was secured using four commercially available cargo tie downs connected to each of four eyelets bolted to the platform surface. All materials and attachments methods were engineered with significant factors of safety. The system employed a switch adapted MP3 player that allows the young woman to advance to the next song when she pressed a switch. The MP3 player was connected to amplified speakers attached to custom folding mounts. These mounts positioned the speakers in front of the woman so that she could hear her music without disrupting the other students in the class. The cost to develop the device was $487. TITLE: Rock’n Roller. JOURNAL: NSF 2010 Engineering Senior Design Projects to Aid Persons with Disabilities. REF: Chapter 7: pp. 74-75. PAGES: 3 with cover. 2010.


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Rock’n Roller