May 13, 2020


Keep Moving Forward.

QL+ Teams have been working hard all school year and then COVID-19 changed everything. The universities and labs closed, and many of the students went back to their respective homes.  This new normal has not stopped our teams from their work. They are adapting and doing what they can to complete their project.

QL+ challenged a team of student engineers at Catholic University to design and build a device to assist a golfer with hand transplants.  Our Challenger is a retired Army Infantryman who lost both arms from an IED blast injury in 2012. He enjoys golfing and has tried a variety of golfing adaptations but discovered that there was too much wobble/motion. Our Challenger needs more stability, and he needs to be able to slide his right hand in and out so his hands are not always hooked together. The engineering students are tasked with the challenge of designing and building a device to assist him with his golf game.

Team members:  Kaelin Martin, Caroline O’Connor, and Ayda Rajab

Team Update:  The Catholic University of America transitioned to online classes on March 18th, 2020.  Most of the students had traveled back to their hometowns for spring break and continued the rest of their spring semester at home. This pandemic has put a strain on in-person instructional settings, which has interfered with our goals for our senior design project. Our group was not allowed to enter the engineering building, access any of the hardware and software that we needed, and most importantly, we were not able to meet with our challenger. This resulted in not being able to further explore the project’s full potential.

Despite the circumstances, two group members were able to stay in the same area to continue working on the project, which allowed us to meet the specified requirements for the device.   During the online spring semester, Kaelin Martin and Caroline O’Connor were able to improve the feasibility of the golf glove by implementing a zipper that allows the user to easily put on the glove. They also attached a new set of N52 magnets to the new set of golf gloves. These new and improved golf gloves are more comfortable, more durable, and seem like they would fit the challenger better than the gloves that were designed in the fall semester.

Ayda Rajab, who has been home since spring break, conducted further research on how we could improve the device as a whole, and what could be done for the device at its current state.  She was able to provide new ideas for future work on the project. We were all able to work on it as a team through zoom meetings and FaceTime.

While we were able to create a working device, it is under unfortunate circumstances that we were unable to meet with our challenger, and have him test it on the golf course.  We are looking forward to having him try it, and see how else we can improve it.

Americans are experiencing extremely uncertain and difficult times. During this period, the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) board and staff want to share with you the steps we are taking to meet our responsibilities to our donors and our Challengers -- the wounded and disabled veterans and first responders with whom we are working at our partner universities around the nation.

It is important that QL+ continues and, wherever possible, completes its work.

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