P10007: Mechanical Spine Platform

Dr. Hensel-April 7 2009

Interview with Dr. Edward Hensel

First Roadmap Meeting
Interviewers: Jeff Rebmann, Rochelle Perry, and Yi Xie
Interviewee: Dr. Hensel
Date: 7 April 2009, Dr. Hensel's Office 09-2203

Interviewer(s): Should all three of us (Jeff, Rochelle, and Yi) pursue the roadmap idea that was briefly explained to us by Dr. DeBartolo? Should we break it into different sections?
Dr. Hensel: It is definitely OK to collaborate during this project at this time. Work within the team and across teams.
Dr. DeBartolo and I have been recently discussing looking into not only the Senior Design Assistive Devices, however also incorporating smaller projects into classroom applications. I would like the three of you to bring together projects that can be applied across the curriculum, based on past projects. These projects from the past have similar technologies that are common through some of them. These "enabling technologies" are like modular technologies that can be applied to many different projects. What we would like to see done is to develop a way for Assistive Device type project to be incorporated early in the engineering curriculum.
Many projects that we have come across have been too small in scope to apply an entire senior design team to solve it. These would be the projects that could be incorporated into lower year level classes. An example of a problem like this is a wheelchair patient who couldn't put on her shoes. This is a small project with a smaller scope, and it purely mechanical therefore it could be incorporated into an early ME class. These projects will serve as a database for MSD teams to draw upon for problems solving in their 5th year. a way to split this up would be to develop projects like this:
*4 easy: 1st year projects
*4 moderate: 3rd year projects
*8 difficult: MSD projects
We also would like to pinpoint commonalities in the family of NSF projects. Where should the Assistive Devices track be in 10 years? We should be able to support N patients every year. A roadmap would be a good way to document this process.
Interviewer(s): What were the common challenges for MSD teams in the past 5 years?
Dr. Hensel: Many of the assistive device projects need a device to measure force and angular and linear position movement. This problems leads teams to focus much of their effort on developing this part of the problems and not much time on the actual problem at hand. How about have one team build this measuring device as an enabling technology so that other teams could use it when they need it?
One way to do this is to find one project that would need that sensor and have them develop it but also complete the specific project they were assigned. The project would be split in two: complete the enabling technology (independently) and also develop the specific project. Then find another project that will need that sensor in the future. This team will, in turn, improve the enabling technology and also complete their specific project. This iterative process would allow the enabling technology to be developed in parallel to projects along the way.
For you three, identify 3 foundational technologies, as well as customer needs appropriate to this project

Assistive Devices Roadmap