Project Examples

Assistive Technology Project Implementation

Course: 16.499 Capstone II
Semester: Fall 2004, Spring 2005, Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009
Instructor: Donn Clark, Jay Fu, Alan Rux, and Senait Haileselassie, Chuck Maffeo
Partners: Lowell High School, Daley Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Lowell Association for the Blind: Lowell, MA; New England Pediatric Care: Billerica, MA; Nashua Center, Nashua High School, Applied Motion Research: Nashua, NH; Seven Hills: Groton, MA; VA Hospital: Bedford, MA; Lawrence High School: Lawrence, MA; Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, NH; Cotting School, Lexington, MA; Choate Hospital, Boston Chapter National Spinal Cord Injury Assoc., Massachusetts Commission for the Blind: Woburn, MA; Kennedy Day School, Helping Hands: Boston, MA; Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA; Mass Dept. of Mental Retardation at the Hogan Regional Center: Hathorne, MA; Assabet Valley Regional Tech: Marlboro, MA; Shore Educational Collaborative: Chelsea, MA; Kids Play Therapy and Wellness Center: Londonderry, NH; Pediatric Physical Therapy, Inc: Concord, NH; AU Lac Langue Center: Dorchester, MA; New England Education Consortium.

Projects of seventy-nine students were initiated between both semesters of this senior capstone course, I and II. In general, most partner organizations contacted the Assistive Technology Center (EE) with specific requests for assistance. Many of the partner organizations have sent representatives to meet with EE student classes and presented an overview of their organization and client needs. Students followed up with organizational site and client visits. Students engaged onsite partner teams, such as including medical care staff and client, to discuss and help with development of specific projects.

For the Electrical and Computer Engineering Capstone II course, approximately 50 projects were delivered to care providers, individuals and care providing agencies, impacting approximately 130 individuals touched by our students and projects during the past academic year. All projects are classified as Assistive Technology, that is the application of technology to enhance the quality of life for disadvantaged persons. Please reference the ATP web site for details of many projects: http://atp.caes.eng.uml.edu/index.html

Professor Donn Clark reported that overall community objective were met, and that “in doing these projects we accomplish technology transfer which would otherwise not happen…Having the students do Assistive Technology projects, otherwise called service learning projects makes the teaching of students easier since students tend to be more motivated working on projects and with clients associated with the disadvantaged community. There are no negatives associated with this program.”

Course objectives met by the s-l project:

  • Develop and implement a business plan to fund the design and development of a product
  • Interaction with prospective clients, end users of the developed product
  • Design, test and deliver appropriate assistive technology project for Capstone II 16.499.

Community objectives met by the s-l project:

  • Delivery of a device that enhances quality of life for a disadvantaged person
  • Provision of direct client contact throughout phases of the project development