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CIT's John Roberts is the outright winner at Speak Out for Engineering Finals Ireland 2013

CIT's John Roberts is the outright winner at Speak Out for Engineering Finals Ireland 2013

Published on: Tuesday, 05 March 2013

Wheelchair Enablement Invention wins Speak Out for Engineering Irish Finals 2013

On the 26th February, the Speak Out for Engineering Finals Ireland 2013, adjudicated on by a distinguished panel drawn from both academia and industry, were announced at the Engineers Ireland HQ, Dublin.

This prestigious engineering competition is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate engineering students in Ireland.

First Place and Outright Winner of the Speak Out for Engineering Award 2013
John Roberts - Cork Institute of Technology
"Design and Development of a Wheelchair Enablement Device"

 


 

Second Place
Fiona Borkin - Letterkenny Institute of Technology - "Multi-Sensory Device for Children with Autism"

Third Place
James Foody - University College Cork - "Design and Development of Low Cost Robotic Hand"

Highly Commended Finalists
Austyn Matheson - Trinity College Dublin - "Nerve Conduit Guide Optimisation"

Luke Scales - Dublin City University - "Smart Homes - Current and Future Technology"

Aibhne Doherty - Dublin Institute of Technology - "Design, Analysis, Manufacture, and Verification of a Single Seat Racing Car Chassis for Formula Student Application"
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John Roberts – Final Year Mechanical Engineering, Cork Institute of Technology
"Design and Development of a Wheelchair Enablement Device"

With 3 million users in the USA and 5 million users in Europe, a staggering 1% of the total population of the Western World are estimated to gain mobility and freedom through the daily use of wheelchairs. Unfortunately, this mobility can be severely restricted by every day barriers such as mounting single steps or kerbs.

The design , development  and testing of Pyra-AidTM, a retro fitted, user friendly, momentum powered mechanical device to aid in mounting of single steps or kerbs, is undertaken by John Roberts. A systematic design approach, informed by wheelchair user and support group liaison, is adopted in the iterative development of the enablement device. Critical design criteria of the innovative 3 wheeled pyramid configuration include operation, efficiency, stability, safety, ease of attachment /detachment, versatility, wheelchair brand universality, manufacturability, aesthetics and cost.

A Mark 1 Pyra-AidTM device has been manufactured and tested both in field and laboratory. Initial step / kerb mount tests have proven to be very promising. Design optimisation of the developing device, utilising state of the art manufacturing and material selection methodologies, is undertaken. Advanced analytical, computer aided design and experimental techniques, including finite element analysis and photo-elastic testing, are employed in the development of a Mark 2 prototype.



 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Simpson, Chairman, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, with John Roberts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish Finalists at the Speak Out for Engineering Competition 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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