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Our Partnership With Cal Poly

#LearnByDoing

About Cal Poly

QL+ Program Manager: Vanessa Salas

QL+ Mentors:

Alan Strasbaugh, Retired, Owner of Strasbaugh Engineering

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Lily Laiho, Department Chair, Biomedical Engineering, QL+ Lab Director

QL+ Project:

Farming Prosthesis: A Navy Veteran sustained a traumatic amputation to her left arm above the elbow in a vehicle rollover. She owns and works on a farm. She currently has a body- powered prothesis with a figure of 8 harness and split hook terminal device. It does not have the grip strength/force required for farming tasks. Also, she is unable to use the terminal device to hold small items and grasp various tools. She is requesting a multi-purpose prosthetic terminal device for use in activities such as farming, building/construction, and tool use.

Faculty Advisor:

Karla Carichner, Lecturer, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering

QL+ Projects:

Backpacking Prosthesis: A Navy Veteran sustained a traumatic amputation to her left arm above the elbow in a vehicle rollover. She owns and works on a farm, and she also likes to backpack. She currently has a body-powered prothesis with a figure of 8 harness. Wearing a backpack with weight decreases function of the prosthetic device harness and is uncomfortable. She would like a terminal device on the prosthesis to use with a variety of backpacking tasks. She is requesting a lightweight, functional prosthetic device to use while backpacking.

Sand Foot: Sgt. Brady has a trans-tibial amputation and is very active in his community. He would like a lower leg prosthesis that will allow him to walk more comfortably on sand. Sgt. Brady finds himself walking on the beach frequently, as he works for the New Hampshire Parks Department. His current prosthesis causes him back pain after extended use particularly when he walks on uneven ground. The prosthesis must be lightweight (< 4 lbs), waterproof, sand-proof, comfortable (less displacement), non-Corrosive, durable (supports 2.5x body weight), and easy to maintain.

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Brian P. Self, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

QL+ Projects:

Wheelchair Lift: A retired Army Veteran was injured in 2003 by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and has a right leg, above-the-knee amputation. He uses a wheelchair and has a crane- type lift on his 2019 Toyota Tacoma (crew cab with short bed) truck in order to transport it. However, the lift takes up too much space in the truck bed, is exposed to the elements, and doesn’t leave much room to carry his athletic equipment. He has resorted to putting his chair in the cab, which requires a cumbersome and often unsafe process. He requests a functional and safe lift system or modifications to his chair or truck that enable him to store the wheelchair in the cab of his truck.

Service Dog Ramp: A retired Army Veteran was injured in 2003 by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). Due to the shrapnel and dirt, he suffered multiple infections and endured 24 surgeries. In 2015, he elected to undergo a right leg, above-the-knee amputation. He utilizes a service dog, Rory, who accompanies him in his 2019 Toyota Tacoma (crew cab with short bed) truck. Rory is a 7-year-old, specialty trained service dog, and needs a ramp to get in and out of the truck. Our Challenger has been unable to find a suitable commercial ramp. The ramp he needs must not be too steep for Rory or the truck; it must be able to fit in the truck without too many adjustments; and, it must take up minimal space in the truck.

Prosthetic Foot Shell: A Marine Veteran whose leg was amputated needs a prosthetic foot shell or an insert for a foot shell that is durable. He is a very active person and uses his foot shell often. The foot shells available on the market only last him 2 or 3 months. He is hoping the students can develop a reinforced foot shell that is more durable and long-lasting.

Faculty Advisor:

Dr. Vladimir Prodanov, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering

QL+ Project:

Shadow Boxing Stabilizer: An Assistant Occupational/Recreational Therapist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center request a device that allows shadow boxing participants to move around safely, while providing secure support if they lose balance. This device will be used by disabled Service Members and Veterans with a variety of balance and/or strength issues.

Faculty Advisor:

Jim Widman, Department Chair, Mechanical Engineering

QL+ Project:

Non-Slip Prosthetic Surf Foot: A Marine who is an amputee is now a competitive surfer. He would like an adaptive surf leg that allows him to have better surface contact with the board when he stands up to surf while riding waves. With his current prosthesis, his left foot stays at an angle and slides because he is a “goofy foot rider”, which means his right foot seats in the front of the board and his left prosthetic foot is positioned in the back of the board.

Faculty Advisor:

Sarah Harding, Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering

QL+ Project:

Surfboard Sled: A Marine Veteran who is an amputee is the founder of Amp Surf: an organization that teaches Veterans adaptive surfing and surf therapy as an effective way to rehabilitate from mental and physical disabilities and injuries. He needs a sled that will allow him to transport Veterans that suffer from partial paralysis directly to the water while they are laying on top of the board. (instead of rolling them down in a wheelchair and then transferring them to a board).

Faculty Advisor:

Rich Murray, Lecturer, Electrical & Computer Engineering

QL+ Project:

Aphasia Challenge: A Veteran with severe aphasia (communication disorder that affects the language modalities, including speaking, listening, reading, writing, with relative sparing of other cognitive skills) needs to be able to create and follow his own schedule. The challenge is to develop an Android scheduling application or tool for this Veteran who cannot talk, read, or write, but who can comprehend and manipulate pictures (with the option to reference an analog clock) to plan out his day.    

About California Polytechnic State University:

Cal Poly is where QL+ was first established. The University’s motto “Learn by doing,” made a partnership with QL+ a perfect match. Since 2008, Cal Poly has been working on challenges for veterans and first responders across the country. More than 100 challenges have been presented to students in many engineering disciplines including Mechanical, Electrical, Materials, Biomedical, Computer and Software Engineering. Cal Poly also boasts the largest QL+ Lab in the country, supporting students from the national program as well as the 150 members of the QL+ Student Association on campus.

https://engineering.calpoly.edu/