Virginia Tech students standing around their Challenger with his newly-completed project
Innovative and Life-Changing Solutions

Projects Overview

We are proud of the work QL+ teams have done across the nation. Since the creation of QL+ in 2009, our projects have benefited over 1,000 American Heroes.

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QL+ Project List

Para canoe adaptation


There is a growing population of visually impaired veterans returning from military duty who would like to remain active despite disabilities as a result of service. Team River Runner was established as an organization to provide physical activity and camaraderie specifically for these servicemen. Team River Runner has recently focused on offering a means for the visually impaired to remain active by kayaking. The team’s objective is to create a more efficient and effective guidance system for the visually impaired to navigate a river slalom course.

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Our Challenger is an Army veteran who is blind stemming from multiple brain injuries in the army. He’s active and enjoys swimming but currently does not have a good system for swimming laps in the pool. Although there are many options for blind swimmers, such as a “tapper” (someone who taps them when they get out of their lane), relying on lane boundaries, or verbal cues from others, not many options are available for those who want to swim independently without the use of verbal or tactile cues. 

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Drone controller


Our design approach utilizes a commercial mouth-operated USB game controller called QuadStick to provide manual control of the drone. A custom-built Printed Circuit Board (PCB) intercepts USB data from the QuadStick and maps that data to control signals to a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC). This DAC produces outputs that emulate the voltages generated from each joystick and relevant button channels on the DJI transmitter motherboard. By the end of Fall, we were able to provide a proof-of-concept system which provided stable 4-channel joystick control of throttle, yaw, and strafe. In our latest revision, a Multiplexer installed on the PCB allows us to digitally swap the input signals of the motherboard’s joystick ports between the DAC output and the original joysticks, eliminating the need for a physical switch to be installed on the controller and providing a true plug-and-play solution.

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Multi-Sport Prosthetic Foot


The Challenge is to have a multi-sport prosthetic foot that allows him to play baseball, body build, and cycle without having to change out his foot.

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Hiking Prosthetic


The Challenger requested hiking prosthetics that allow him to walk over uneven terrain safely and efficiently.

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Breakaway Prosthetic Leg V2


The breakaway for the prosthetic leg is being completed in accordance with the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) Program. The challenger for this project is Peter Way. Peter is a retired Army Major who was injured in 2003, while serving, from a rocket-propelled grenade....

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Para Bobsled Transfer Assist


The proposed design challenge is to design and build a portable and safe transfer device for people with spinal cord injuries to be able to transfer into a bobsled. The device will be portable to the four different start locations at the Lake Placid facility and to the different bobsleds in the loading platform. This device assists spinal cord injury athletes with their current transfer method, which is time consuming, causes muscle fatigue, soreness, or injury. These difficulties have made some athletes resort to staying in their bobsled between runs. The device reduces bobsled transfer difficulties to allow athletes with spinal cord injuries to be less disadvantaged compared to other paraplegic athletes

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Snowboarding Simulator


After receiving a prosthetic limb, patients experience a unique set of challenges which impact the daily lives and activities of affected individuals. In order to improve their everyday life, many programs, such as Quality of Life Plus (QL+) and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), work with wounded veterans to minimize these effects through rehabilitation and adaptive technologies in hopes of returning patients to previously enjoyed activities. WRNMMC has a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) system which represents a new era in rehabilitation by utilizing virtual reality to simulate environments patients may face. With the popularity of snowboarding as an adaptive sport, and the heel-to-toe weight distribution component of the sport, a CAREN snowboarding simulation would be useful for patients. WRNMMC has attempted snowboard simulation in the past with the CAREN system, mainly relying on placing the snowboard on a static device such as a foam block. However, the previous simulation attempts were unrealistic and have not provided sufficient feedback that would aid in the rehabilitation process. Senior Design Team #8 has been tasked with creating a realistic snowboarding simulation for the patients at WRNMMC.

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Calling All Heroes

Become a Challenger

A Student tending to a Challenger.

Calling all Wounded, Ill, or Injured American Heroes and Their Families

If you have an injury or disability and you are a member of the military, a veteran, or a first responder, QL+ has a program that is designed to improve your quality of life at no charge to you.

You can make a difference!

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A group of students helps a man by building a walker

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