Design Success in Utah!
By Storee Powell
The Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP) partners with the Utah State University (USU) College of Engineering to help guide senior capstone projects that focus on assistive technology (AT). USU has a grant from the National Science Foundation to invent new and improved AT devices for the benefit of the aging population. While students have been making great things, the second part of the grant is more challenging: marketing the devices so they ultimately get manufactured and sold to consumers. Recently, however, we've had success!
The car trunk wheelchair lift has now been patented under Utah State University. This is a device that hooks onto most cars and hoists a manual wheelchair into the trunk so that very little exertion is required. Currently, USU and UATP are negotiating with a local company to see the device licensed and manufactured. Not only will this device serve consumers at an affordable cost, but some proceeds will benefit the AT program, and the students get a taste of the disability and AT world. A win-win-win!
Storee Powell is the marketing/public relations specialist for UATP