P10007: Mechanical Spine Platform

Concept Design Review Documents

Table of Contents

Background Material for Concept Design Review Participants


The intent of this project is to design and build a test platform that will mimic the actions of a human spine. This design will incorporate movements in three dimensions, while being able to independently measure the angles and movement. The purpose of developing this platform is to calibrate existing measuring devices in use at the Nazareth Physical Therapy Clinic. The goal of Assistive Device projects is to apply technology to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, and the development of technologies related to the broad field of bioengineering. In addition, the projects serve as real life product design applications that enhance the education of the student team.

Group Members

Primary Customers

Background Information

Identify Customer Needs

Affinity Diagram (MS Powerpoint)
Objective Tree (MS Powerpoint)
Function Tree (MS Powerpoint)

Establish Target Specifications

House of Quality (MS Excel)

Generate Product Concepts

Metric-Needs Relationship

Select Product Concept(s)

Concept Selection - Mechanical
Concept Selection - Electrical
System Block Diagram - System Architecture
Final Concept Risk Assessment

Concept Design Review Presentation

Final Concept Selection - Concept Design Review

Concept Design Review Notes & Conclusions


  1. Definitely use a number value for joint strength engineering specification
    1. Will help when testing
  2. Use two 2-tilt sensors instead of using a rotational sensors and one 2-tilt sensor
    1. Two 2 tilt sensors will introduce an X-Y and Y-Z
    2. Sensors are readily available from Dr. Bowman
    3. Must look into integrating them together when moving forward
  3. Selection of DAQ will be crucial
    1. Follow up with Dr. Bowman with questions
    2. Use brand name DAQ so that coding does not utilize too much time
  4. Look into making the horizontal bar independent of the vertical linear adjustability
    1. The member can adjust linearly, however the height of the horizontal member can move freely up and down the segment
  5. Ball joint can be used just as easily as a split ball joint with a greater freedom of motion
    1. Can still lock
      1. Usually a screw-down fashion
  6. Concept drawing needs to be updated to reflect changes
  7. Durability should be a lesser need because the first iteration is a proof of concept
    1. Set screws with a rubber cap will lead to less wear of the ball joint
  8. Use Fixed, Independent, Replaceable segments instead of linear adjustability
    1. Will make the design stronger, more rigid
    2. Represents a minimum, average, and maximum linear adjustability
    3. Most likely a threaded connection with ball joint
    4. Will address many risks mentioned in the risk assessment
    5. Need to be able switch sensors from segment to segment keeping the calibration
  9. Electrical aspect needs to be set up ASAP
    1. Electrical will drive mechanical details

Conclusions - Moving Forward

Accepted changes

  1. Joint strength will be measured by a given value TBD
  2. Horizontal member will be independent of vertical adjustability
  3. Ball joint will be used instead of a split ball joint
  4. Rigid segments will be used a building blocks to add length to adjust each member vertically

Changes requiring more research

  1. Two 2-tilt sensors to replace a rotational sensor
  2. DAQ selection

Final Concept Selection - Post Concept Design Review