Roll With It: Adaptive Mobility Support System
In late 2017, our team began to design a concept for a low-cost, multi-stage rehabilitation device for children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) in India. We then worked for a year on that concept and ended the 2018 school year with a concept for "Walk With Me". Over the summer of 2018, the scope of the project was evaluated and experts were consulted. We realized that our original goal of designing a new clinical rehabilitation device was unreasonable so, our scope was adjusted.
Pictured is the prototype for the the Roll With It device. This is a concept for a universal, multi-purpose assistive device for low-income children with CP. Instead of a clinical application, our new goal is to design a device to help integrate children into society through an accessible assistive device. We are very optimistic and excited about the potential that Roll With It has to positively impact people's lives and change the way we think about accessible and universal assistive technology.
Polymeric Wound Recovery Strip (PWRS)
This project was initiated by Max Roberge in 2017, and with the assistance of Brooke Hall, was developed into a multi-year study with plans for a draft research paper and materials prototyping. The objective of this project is to synthesize a series of hydrogel repair strip matrices that may be applied throughout the phases of wound healing to facilitate the wound repair process. The repair strips are intended for chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, as a means of non-invasive therapy. Due to the chosen healing compounds and cofactors, the strips will be low-cost, effective, and simple to use. The team is synthesizing the polymer matrices through which the therapeutic agents will diffuse. Managed by Harriet Chorney and Kay Wu, the goal for the 2018-2019 school year is to optimize the compound concentrations through a series of characterization steps and develop a packaging that dictates the length of time that each strip must be applied based on the body's natural healing procedure.
Client-Based Project: Adressing Cerebral Palsy in the Kingston Community
A team of QBiT members, led by Paige Leedale and Olivia Roud, are working with an end-user with cerebral palsy to address the series of permanent motor disabilities associated with the disorder. The end-user, a local student, has difficulties with the current device used to assist their movement, and cannot put the seat of her walker down comfortably due to various limiting factors. Our goal for this project is to use a client-centered approach to design and build a walker by the end of the school year that will satisfy the needs of the end-user and that may be further applied to other individuals with similar conditions.
Electrical Computing Project: Detecting Cancerous Cells
Combining computing into medical practices, we are introducing this year’s newest project. We will be working to design a device that uses electrical impedance spectroscopy to detect forms of skin cancer. Specifically for user groups who have challenges accessing skin specialists. The device will be portable, low cost, and extremely simple to use. With these benefits, we also aim to target countries of low income to provide cheaper alternatives in regulating skin diseases.
This team of five bright engineers won QBiT's first Global Biomedical Engineering Challenge, for which we offered them academic, financial and operative resources. They have designed an effective warming system for pre-term, low-weight newborns in Zimbabwe, using inexpensive, accessible materials that will combat hypothermia. The wrap prevents the loss of bodily fluids and maintains the baby’s temperature at a healthy level. This swaddle will be attached closely to the caregiver in a modified traditional African carrying manner, exposing the baby to the caregiver’s heat and bacteria required for the development of a strong immune system.
The team is making their designs a reality and hope to successfully implement this solution in Zimbabwe, Africa.
"QBIT has been very helpful in supplying us with professional contacts in the fields of neo-natal health, biomechanical design and African culture. Additionally, QBIT has provided us with a strong support system to guide us in addressing the problem of hypothermia in Zimbabwe"
Diagnostic Monitoring Infant Pacifier
Babies are very sensitive to germs and viruses, which can be a very large concern for parents of children with increased risk of disease or limited access to care. QBiT has decided to design and prototype an affordable baby soother that monitors the health of the baby through it's saliva. If the monitor detects any irregular levels of cortisol in the babies saliva, the monitor will indicate this to the parent through a phone app, which allows them to take the precautionary measures required to improve the babies health. This project is lead by Adam Maceachern and Emily Rae.
2015-2016 Project: Knee-Ankle-Foot-Orthotic
Much research is done in the development of prosthetics and orthotics for use in developed countries, there is an extreme shortage of innovation devoted to finding affordable options for those in less developed countries. It is estimated that only 25% of those who require an orthotic device have access to such, and over half of that percentage receive a piece that is already broken or damaged. The team's project in the 2015-2016 year was to develop a modular, economical version of a knee-ankle-foot orthotic (KAFO).
KAFOs are used for a variety of biomechanical disabilities and therefore there are many variations of the KAFO. The general function of a KAFO is to reduce force on the knee from walking and to additionally reduce the ability for the knee to flex during gait. Most KAFOs offer a fully locked position as well as a free-swinging position. The most common disabilities requiring a KAFO in developing countries are muscular dystrophy, foot drop and polio. These disabilities call for a device that removes force from the knee and ankle, but is customizable to fit varying levels of deformities in the knee.
The final design included an extremely modular (containing over 20 removable components) orthotic which is customizable in both width around the knee and height in the proximal and distal regions of the leg. The design includes a unique 3-position knee mechanism that is fully mechanical. If the model was taken to large-scale manufacturing, it is estimated that it could be produced for under $1000 per device.
The final design was presented at the LIMBS International Summit on June 3rd, in El Paso, Texas, and was awarded 3rd place in the international competition.
Specialized Arm Prosthetic
In third world countries, many amputees who without access to advanced prosthetics lose their jobs due to their lack of mobility and physical abilities. QBiT's goal is to create specialized upper limb prosthetics that are specifically designed to execute certain jobs that are common in these countries. These prosthetics are much more affordable than fully automated prosthetics, due to their ease of construction and materials required, and will hopefully allow people who have lost their limb, the ability to continue working.
2014-2015 Project: Assistive Back Brace for Swimmers
This project was completed in cooperation with Penguins Can Fly, a swim team local to Kingston, Ontario that noted that their disabled swimmers (specifically those with cerebral palsy) had difficulty in establishing core stability while swimming, and essentially were swimming with an extremely arched back. The brace developed by QBiT was a training-aid meant to give the swimmer a physical reminder to keep a neutral spine during their stroke. The device strapped onto the back and, when the back was arched, would cause discomfort in the low back. The device, unlike others on the market, was designed to be adjustable for different sized swimmers ranging from 5'0 to 6'0.