Date

6-2014

Degree Name

BS in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

Advisor(s)

James Widmann

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to create a strider, a type of standing rehabilitation device, for children in developing countries who have trouble walking and supporting their full body weight. The project was initially brought to us by Cal Poly professor Brian Self, who had visited a clinic in San Marcos and determined that there were children there who had difficulties with walking and were a need for a rehabilitation device. The team discussed the problem with Dr. Self, Matt Robinson (a local San Luis Obispo prosthetist), and Cal Poly physics professor Pete Schwartz, all of whom had visited San Marcos previously, the determined that the device must also use appropriate technologies so that it could be easily reproduced for a low cost in clinics and for children to use at home in developing countries. For these reasons, the team chose to create the device from bamboo held together with composite joints. After researching material availability in San Marcos and existing bamboo and composite manufacturing techniques, the group designed a triangle-based structure made of dried bamboo for maximum strength. The design was analyzed using engineering analysis for the effects of bending, buckling, impact, and more. The team next created a prototype of the device at Cal Poly and tested it for failure before journeying to Guatemala to re-create the device at the clinic. In San Marcos, the device was completely manufactured in only three days and was also tested using a healthy 11-year-old girl. The team left the completed device, as well as two harnesses, at the clinic and is currently awaiting feedback from Dr. Rojas, who is in charge of the clinic and promised to use the device when disabled children come into the clinic. Nicole will continue to make improvements to the design as well as establish communication and relationships with other clinics interested in the device in the fall.