Education, entrepreneurs, Technology

U of D Jesuit senior develops baby carrier for paraplegic mothers

2015-08-12-wheelchair cropped

Picture this: You’re a new mom and you are a paraplegic and wheelchair bound. How do you move your little one from one place to another?

2015-08-12-wheelchairEnter Alden Kane, a senior at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He’s enrolled in Dominic Coccitti’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research class where his assignment was to create a device that will allow a paraplegic mother to easily transport her baby on her wheelchair.

First, Kane created virtual models using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, which he first had to learn with the help of Dr. Darrell Kleinke, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

“The first iteration was a baby carrier without wheels,” says Kane. “After learning that the mother had problems with her wheelchair tipping over, we decided the extra weight was going to be a problem.”

He decided on a design that easily attaches to the wheelchair and includes the same “quick release” mechanism found on bicycles. It also carries the standard baby car seat.

“By accommodating the car seat, we did not have to design a new one in our project. This makes for a better product,” says Kane. “It also saves on the cost.”

The baby car seat carrying device is scheduled to be in the mother’s hands by mid-August.

“This was Alden’s project from the beginning,” says Kleinke. “He designed it and created a prototype out of PVC tubing with minimal oversight. We are grateful to Creform, which manufactured Alden’s design at a minimal cost.”

U of D Jesuit has long taught its students making a difference is essential. With that in mind the College of Engineering & Science has an established history of creating enabling technologies to assist those with disabilities.

Community service, along with academic excellence and faith formation, is what the school has been teaching it students since it was founded 138 years ago.

“Equipping our young men to be tomorrow’s leaders and innovators begins right here, right now in Detroit, where we continue the 450-year-old Jesuit tradition of academic rigor and critical thinking,” said school President Karl J. Kiser, S.J. “Every day, faith and science converge as we challenge our students to reach for excellence while reaching out to serve others.”

Science and Engineering Center

Science and Engineering Center

That commitment gets an extra boost next year when the school’s $16 million state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Center is finished on its campus on West Seven Mile Road. The center will be the first and only high school facility of its kind in Detroit and the largest dollar investment in science and technology at any Michigan high school in recent years.

The new science center will help the 900 young men who attend the school better understand the whole universe, one that includes community service along with faith and science.

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7 comments on “U of D Jesuit senior develops baby carrier for paraplegic mothers

  1. That's is pretty cool! But I bet that amazing kid invented it for all paraplegic parents and not just an episode of Mad Men….

  2. This is very exciting and I applaud Mr. Kane. However, the phrase "wheelchair bound" can be offensive to wheelchair users. Wheelchairs do not bind people – they enable them to experience the world.

  3. I write this as a person with cerebral palsy, a 25-year veteran of radio broacasting and a man who spent 14 years on newspaper copy desks.

    The use of the term "wheelchair-bound" in this otherwise interesting story is a terrible choice of language. Wheelchairs don't "bind" the people who use them — they liberate them. If you want to "bind" someone who uses a wheelchair, take it away from them.

    Furthermore, the Associated Press Stylebook entry on "disabled, impaired, handicapped" specifically cautions against such slanted language, and says that the phrase "wheelchair-bound" shouldn't be used at all. Instead, it recommends that the phrase "uses a wheelchair" be used, along with a description of why the person needs to use a wheelchair, if it is appropriate to the context of the story.

  4. I love this idea! I now have a 15 and 8 year old and back when they were babies, this would have been such a useful device. Bravo to this student for such a fabulous invention!

  5. Very exciting Idea. I really Like it. Community service, along with academic excellence and faith formation, is what the school has been teaching it students since it was founded 138 years ago. well said. This website is efficient. Thank you for sharing it with us. I will
    visit this blog regularly from today and I am finding so much helpful article each time. Keep working on this and thank you once again.

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