Engineering students design mobility device for Tulsans

A group of mechanical engineering seniors from the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences is partnering with the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges to develop mobility aids for its members. The facility provides social, cultural and recreational opportunities for persons with physical disabilities.

MADE at TU
The TU mechanical engineering “Swift Lift” team with center member Patrick Cheptiony.

As part of its capstone senior project, the TU team consulted with therapists and members at the center to identify an area or device in need of improvement. Students dedicated hundreds of hours during their final spring semester to designing and fabricating a project known as the Swift Lift. The device lifts individuals from a seated to standing position under therapist supervision and provides support for the person to grip special holders while walking on their own.

Staff and members gathered at the center April 28 to watch as the Swift Lift device was delivered and demonstrated by member Patrick Cheptiony.

“This is a really special project, and the students have worked so hard all semester,” said John Henshaw, mechanical engineering professor and department chairman. “We hope to continue building a relationship with the center for additional projects in the future.”

About MADE at TU
In addition to senior projects, many other TU students regularly participate in the university’s Make a Difference Engineering (MADE at TU) initiative, focusing their talents on projects that address the special needs of local residents with physical and developmental disabilities. TU regularly collaborates with several other community organizations such as the Little Light House where, for more than a decade, TU students have designed and built mobility aids for children with special needs. Other members of the TU community serve at Little Light House as weekly volunteers.