PAST QL+ PROJECTS

We are deeply grateful to our program partners, whose generosity sustains our project development, through project funding as indicated, and funding of the QL+ Program as a whole.

SURFING PROSTHESIS COVERSurfing prosthesis cover

This Masters project finalized a prosthetic leg covering for wounded warriors who wish to surf. The innovation is waterproof and resistant to corrosion from salt, sand and sunlight. It incorporates various features to improve comfort, functionality and safety, including improved friction coefficients between prosthesis and surf board. (Project 57a1M)

 

ONE ARM DRIVE WHEELCHAIRWheelchair

Powered wheelchairs are bulky, expensive, difficult to transport and have limited battery capacity; yet for those with upper body limitations, maneuvering a manual wheelchair can be impossible. This project was proposed by a limited quadriplegic as a lightweight and independence-enhancing option. After researching a variety of ranges of motion, QL+ developed a prototype manual wheelchair that can be operated using only one arm. This capitalizes on the maneuverability and smaller profile of manual wheelchairs without causing strain or injury to the user. (Project 56a1)

 

 

CHALLENGER COURSEWheelchair on stairs

QL+ Club members conceptualized a proving ground to assess QL+ innovations in terms of inherent functionality and in comparison to similar commercial devices. The course featured dynamic features, including various obstacles and simulated environments, to allow student teams to customize the course to specific project testing requirements. (Project 53a1QL)

 

DOCK LIFTYacht and Boat

Veterans with limited mobility experience issues relocating from the dock to a boat during the VA Summer Sports Clinic. This project, called ‘The Stars and Stripes’ lift after one of the large yachts used at the event, developed a device that is portable and easily deployable. It affixes temporarily to the dock, safely and comfortably hoisting and lowering wounded warriors from the dock to water-borne vessels of varying sizes and heights. This reduces the risk of injury to the individual and volunteers. (Project 52a1)

WHEELCHAIR LANDSCAPERRace, spade & shovels

QL+ engineered a customized adaptive device that attaches quickly and easily to the power wheelchair of a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division. The device allows the user to undertake a wide range of yard work, such as lawn mowing, raking leaves and shoveling snow, without the need to purchase a wheelchair with specific functionality. (Project 45a1)

 

 

 

MOTORCYCLE STABILIZERMotorbike stabilizer device

Options were limited for a US Army Veteran with an upper leg amputation who enjoys riding a sports motorcycle, as the kickstand and center stand are generally deployed using the left heel. QL+ engineered a custom attachment that complies with all legal ground clearance requirements and does not impact other aspects of the motorcycle’s functionality. (Project 44a1)

 

JUNCTIONAL BLEED DEVICEFlag on Tank

Advances in tactical combat care include systems designed to control bleeding, such as hemostatic dressings and tourniquets. However, hemorrhaging from non-compressible junctional injuries (where the limbs or head meet the torso) remain the major cause of death from otherwise potentially-survivable combat injuries. QL+ developed a prototype for a lightweight, portable, robust and easily-deployable junctional bleed device (Project 40a1)

 

 

WHEELCHAIR MOBILITY
MODIFICATIONWheelchair

Motorized wheelchairs require less effort to maneuver than manual chairs. However, they are more expensive and often more bulky. This large group project, undertaken in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Cal Poly, engineered a universal system to provide on-demand motorized capabilities for a wide range of different makes and models of manual wheelchairs. (Project 38a1G)

 

WHEELCHAIR DOORKEEPERWheelchair doorkeeper

Wheelchair users often struggle to hold open a door while simultaneously maneuvering their wheelchair through it. A QL+-sponsored student team developed a simple, yet effective, hands-free device. The device attaches to a wheelchair and hold open any door, allowing the individual to safely and easily pass through. When not in use, the device folds away. (Project 37a1)

 

GEARED WHEELCHAIRMetal Gear Wheels

This QL+ Project had three goals: to assist manual wheelchair users going uphill, to prevent them rolling backwards, and to slow and stop their descent. QL+ student teams developed a durable, lightweight, inexpensive and reliable modification, featuring special braking and gear systems. The innovation does not affect the wheelchair’s functionality on flat ground. (Project 34a1)

 

 

 

PORTABLE TENS MACHINERunning Track

QL+ designed a special vest incorporating TENS capabilities, to help a former Navy Veteran overcome neuropathic pain during her participation in discus, shot put and javelin competitions. The customized vest ensures that pads are consistently and accurately positioned, and prevents their detachment due to perspiration. (Project 33a1, 33a2)

 

SCUBA DIVING PROSTHESISFlipper

In collaboration with ‘Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba’ (SUDS), QL+ developed a prosthesis to address issues faced by amputee divers. The QL+ leg prosthesis has an improved interface to prevent detachment at depth. It also features better dynamic design, as current prostheses are inefficient for underwater propulsion, causing poor swimming techniques and increased air consumption. (Project 32a1)

 

SONAR FOR THE BLINDDiagram of white cane range

The traditional white cane can only identify obstacles at ground level within one footfall in any direction. This latest project in a series of projects  designed to overcome these issues, assessed methods of providing a wider scope and more detailed level of feedback to the blind  and visually impaired, including a special vestment and a cane attachment. (Project 23a1, 23a2, 24a1, 24a2)

PROSTHETIC KNEE – LEG LIFTQL+ innovation

Bilateral, above-the-knee amputees lack the lift to climb and descend stairs. Two QL+ teams have addressed this issue,  engineering a prosthetic attachment that provides the power and leg flexion/extension, without impeding normal walking. One of the innovations won a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Gold Award in the national Team Tech competition in October 2011. (Project 22a1G, 22a2).

 

 

 

PROCESS MAPPINGQL+ Process Mapping

QL+ constantly re-evaluates organizational procedures in order to maintain administrative efficiency and maximize financial accountability. A Cal Poly Industrial Engineering student researched, mapped and documented various QL+ processes, then made recommendations for improvements to streamline procedures and processes (Project 21a1)

 

WHEELCHAIR TRANSFER
ASSISTWheelchair hoist

Products currently available to assist wheelchair users transferring from their wheelchair to another seating area are limited to primitive transfer boards and cumbersome hoists. Both are difficult to use; neither encourage independence. This QL+ Project engineered a portable hoist to allow individuals to safely transfer between a range of seats independently. (Project 20a1)

 

ICE HOCKEY PROSTHETICIce Hockey Player with one leg
LEG – UNILATERAL

In collaboration with USA Warriors Ice Hockey Team, QL+ has engineered a prosthesis optimized for use by single leg amputees involved in ice sports. The prosthetic leg features enhanced shock absorption, stability and energy storage capabilities, enabling single leg amputees to safely and confidently execute ice hockey maneuvers with balance, fluidity and control. (Project 19a1, 19a2)

 

ICE HOCKEY PROSTHETIC LEGAmputee Veteran playing ice hockey
INTERFACE

By analyzing materials currently used for prosthetic legs, and their methods of attachment to the residual limb, a QL+-sponsored student team was able to design and refine a prosthetic interface that addresses performance requirements for amputee ice hockey players involved with the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program. (Project 18a1, 18a2M)

 

 

 

GOLF PROSTHESISWoman golfer

Proposed by a QL+ Faculty Advisor specializing in golf dynamics, this project developed a prosthetic attachment enabling a double arm amputee to make a complete golf swing consistently and effectively by emulating a ‘natural’ wrist action. The device was easy to attach and detach to existing prostheses without assistance and is sturdy, comfortable and lightweight. (Project 16a1)

 

ERGO MULTI-FUNCTIONALScrewdriver heads
TOOL

This QL+ Project sought to modify the Ergo Knife (13a1-6), an ergonomically-designed cutting utensil, designed for use by those with hand and wrist impairment. The Ergo Multi-functional Tool features a universal attachment mechanism, allowing easy attachment and detachment of a range of interchangeable tools. (Project 14a1,14a2)

 

BLIND DRIVER CHALLENGECar similar to the one being used for the Blind Driver Challenge

Originally inspired by a National Federation for the Blind initiative, this series of QL+ Projects sought to enable visually impaired individuals to experience independent driving. The student team had three focuses: developing a feedback system to relay real-time environmental data to the driver, enhancing the safety features of a specially adapted vehicle, and designing a closed challenge driving course. (Project 12a1, 12a2)

 

ACTIVE WHEELCHAIR
SUSPENSION

This QL+ Project sought to develop an actively actuated wheelchair suspension system for incorporation into standard motorized wheelchairs. This reduces the vibrations transmitted to the wheelchair user, which can be detrimental to the user’s health and comfort. (Project 11a1)

 

 

NAVY SEAL PROSTHETIC LEG

This QL+ Project produced a ruggedized multipurpose prosthetic leg for use by an active-duty Navy SEAL. The new design allows the user to undertake various activities – running, walking and swimming – without the need to switch between prostheses with specific functionality. The QL+ solution also offers improved comfort levels and eliminates the issue of prosthetic detachment during rigorous exercise. (Project 10a1, 10a2)

 

 

ARTIFICIAL SKIN
HUMAN TOUCH

With advances in mechanical manipulators for prosthetic hands, there is a corresponding need for improved tactile sensors. This project constructed a pressure-sensitive glove, made from silicone and internally inlaid with piezoelectric pressure sensors, capable of reproducing the sense of human touch by measuring force. (Project 8a1M)

RECUMBENT BIKE

QL+ customizeda recumbent bike for a former Navy demolition diver with a length differential between his right and left legs. By adapting the sporting equipment to specifically address these physical needs, QL+ will enable the injured Veteran to continue competing in his favorite sporting activities, including the century bike rides and triathlons that he enjoyed prior to his service-related injury. (Project 7a1, 7a2)

 

ACCESSIBLE CAB ENTRY
(ACE) LIFT

This project modified theQL+ CAT320C L chair-hoist system, previously developed to enable disabled Veterans to enter and exit the cab of a CAT 320CL Excavator, to be compatible with a wider range of heavy equipment such as big rigs, tractors and trash trucks. The cabs of these types of vehicle are several feet off the ground, with limited steps for ingress/egress. (Project 6a1, 6a2)

CAT D6R BULLDOZER INGRESS/EGRESS

The operating cab of a CAT D6R bulldozer is several feet off the ground, with limited steps for ingress/egress. Student engineers at the QL+ Laboratory developed a system to enable those with limited mobility, including leg amputees, paraplegics and limited quadriplegics, to easily enter and exit the machine’s operating cab. (Project 5a1)

 

 

 

 

ADAPTIVE WHEELCHAIR

This challenge engineered a wheelchair that quickly and easily adapts between indoor and outdoor environments, and on-road and off-road formats, including rough terrain and gradients; making it possible for wheelchair users to experience nature independently, without the need to switch between wheelchairs with specific indoor/outdoor functionality. (Project 4a1)

 

YOSEMITE RESIDENTIAL

A tract of land belonging to a QL+ supporter near Yosemite needs to be cleared and replanted following a forest fire. The work will be carried out by wounded warriors. QL+ sponsored an architecture competition for Cal Poly students Poly to design eco-friendly, disabled-accessible residential accommodation for use by injured Veterans during the project. (Project 3a1)

 

THE TABLETTE

The Tablette is a portable device that effectively extends a table edge, filling the space between the table and a wheelchair user. This solves a common problem often faced by wheelchair diners whose wheelchairs prevent them from being comfortably seated within an acceptable distance of a table, which can lead to spilled food and drink. (Project 2a1)

 

POLYGRASP PROSTHETIC HANDPolygrasp Prosthetic Hand

Prosthetic hands currently available can be costly and heavy, or trade functionality for aesthetics. QL+ developed an inexpensive, lightweight prosthesis that fits a wide range of users. The hand features jointed fingers and a manually positionable thumb, and is controlled using a myoelectric interface and robotic actuation. A patented method produces a highly realistic outer silicone glove that closely mimics the appearance of a natural hand. (Project 1a1, 1a2)