ARC of Monroe County Therapy Pool Lift

Project:  06216

Project Mentor:  Dr. Debartolo

Senior Design Team (From Left to Right):  Curtis Benedetto (Mechanical Engineer), Jeremy Barber (Mechanical Engineer), Kevin Hunter (Mechanical Engineer), Timothy Martino (Industrial Engineer), Phaelan Vaillancourt (Mechanical Engineer)





Technical Report


Mission Statement:

The purpose of this project was to create a pool lift for the Arc of Monroe County. Their current lift is not functional because of its age and is not safe for consumer use. It does not meet ADA/ABA Regulations and is not easily accessible for the workers that assist the consumers into and out of the pool. The Senior Design will design, construct, test, and implement a new design that will meet ADA/ABA Regulations and will be safe for operation. We had 22 weeks to go through the product development facets and met deadlines through team work and a strong communication network.

Formal Statement of Work:

To accomplish the problem at hand, our team is going to follow a rigid timeline.  The first thing that needs to be achieved is an evaluation of the requirements given by the customer along with the assumptions made by our team members.  After evaluating this criterion, the team will then need to brainstorm any plausible solutions.  Once a collection of the best ideas are established, the team can then make a decision on what is believed to be the best design based on the feasibility analysis.  After a preliminary design was selected, we presented the ideas to a panel of engineering peers to receive feedback to update our design.  The Senior Design Team then wrote a report on the findings and presented it a panel of engineering faculty.  The faculty assessment was used as feedback to make the final design stronger.  The fabrication process then began once all of the weaknesses were taken care of.  

Current Design:


bullet Current lift hangs over the pool deck, which does not make it safe when loading consumers
bullet Hydraulic system is not fully functional.  The chair shakes when in motion, making the experience dangerous for any consumer.
bullet There is no lateral support on the chair (arm rests).  This is something that the design has to have according to the ARC of Monroe County.
bullet Four point harness will be incorporated in the design to increase the safety of the consumer when they move around on the chair.

New Design Preliminary Drawing, Actuator, And Seat:


Changes made to the preliminary drawing:

bullet Instead of a winch system, an actuator will be used to place the consumer inside of the pool and to take them out also.
bullet Instead of welding a seat out of aluminum, the seat was purchased and is plastic.  The entire seat along with the arm supports will be padded with neoprene to prevent any injury to the consumers that use the lift.



The building of the Pool Lift was done at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  A base was set up first so that it could hold the full weight of the new lift with a person on it.  The base is made up of wood and concrete for weight.  This would be used primarily for testing the new lift being that the team can not test at a pool site.  Machining and Fabrication took place in the Mechanical Engineering Department.  The drilling machines were used to cut the Aluminum bar stock and one of the Mechanical Engineering Rooms was used to store the new Pool Lift.  All of the Aluminum parts were then painted after machining with an anti-corrosive material so that rusting would not be an issue in the future.  The corners for every part were rounded off to decrease the amount of injury that can occur to both the consumer and the helper.










Safety Analysis:

The R.I.T. Senior Design Pool Lift Team focused on the safety of the consumers as the number one priority of this project.  The ergonomics of the entire system was designed to limit the amount of human error that can occur during operation of the lift.  The final design incorporates ADA requirements and uses certain features to ensure a safe experience during operation.  The system is designed to operate in a wet and humid environment.  The structure will be coated in a industrial grade paint which can be fully submerged in chlorinated water to prevent corrosion to any part of the pool lift.  The rotational base will be water sealed to ensure the systems integrity.  A linear actuator replaced the winch setup to provide a means for a smoother transition as well as safer.  If the linear actuator fails it will seize in position which will either allow the operators to remove the consumer from the pool or from the pool seat causing no harm to the consumer.  This will prevent the consumer from descending into the pool deck or into the pool at a fast rate.  The seat is designed to ensure maximum safety and will have a four-point harness so that the consumer will be fully supported.  EVA water resistant foam will also be added to the seat, lateral supports and seat structure for safety of the consumer during loading and transition into the pool.  The lateral supports lift out of the way simultaneously during loading to ensure more space when loading and unloading the consumers onto and off of the lift.  The actual attachments for the lateral supports are behind the seat and behind the seat frame which ensures no pitch points for the consumer.  The lateral supports have also been squared off and rounded so no impalement could occur.  The actuator that is being used is splash resistant and the control box is waterproof to ensure the safety of the operator as well as anyone around the pool area.  The wiring for the actuator will be ran underneath the pool to a GFCI outlet which will avoid accidents such as tripping over the wires and electric shock from the exposure to the water around the area.  All of the edges on the actual structure that could come in contact with the consumer have been rounded for the safety of the consumer and operator. The underside of the pool seat was also taken into consideration and rounded out on the bottom to remove all doubt during loading and ensure a safe transition from in and out of the pool.  The actuator is mounted behind the consumer and all pinch points have been addressed.







The Pool Lift was tested and worked in two cases where a 225 lb. load was applied and where a 185 lb load was used.


The actuator accomplished its main task of lifting and placing an individual into the pool from the deck


The customer requirements were met and the new lift was painted with an anti-corrosive layer to prevent rusting


Neoprene was placed on the seat as well as the arm rests to keep the consumers safe upon operation of the lift


A manual was developed so that the Al Sigl Center would have no problem installing the lift


Another Senior Design Team will take over the project next year to create a reclining seat for the consumers


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. BES-0527358.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.