Fishing simulator built by TU students to help patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Students build fishing simulator for Cancer Treatment Centers of America


A group of mechanical engineering seniors have completed a special project they designed and constructed for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility in Tulsa. The seven-member team began consulting with occupational and physical therapists at CTCA in the fall of 2017 to create a rehabilitation device. TU students created a fishing simulator for patients who have lost proprioceptive function during chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

“We’re working to help them better combat their treatments and improve their mental wellness and physical ability,” said team leader Bradford Kerst.

The device provides a full body exercise for adult patients while standing on a platform that simulates how it would feel to fish on a boat. Using a real fishing pole while watching fishing simulation on a screen, patients engage their core, legs, arms and shoulders.

“It’s a great full body exercise that we’re really trying to get people to enjoy so they will want to come back to therapy in the future,” Kerst said.

Mechanical engineering seniors Ibrahim Al-Humood, Clint Ellis, Osamh Hasreem, Kerst, Ann McGuire, Jimmy Pignetti and Shelby Tyner have contributed more than 900 hours to the project, overcoming many design challenges to easily adjust the platform and mechanism for CTCA patients.

“The biggest thing is learning how to face challenges and work through them by bouncing ideas off one another,” Kerst said.