Designing a piece of furniture that allows the mobility of a disabled child from the Fundamor Foundation was the work carried out by three students of Biomedical Engineering from Universidad Autónoma de Occidente.
‘An orthopedic walker’ was what these engineers built during the course of complementary activity, a space where teachers have the opportunity to propose ideas in order to be carried out with the students. The project they joined is called ‘Development of support products for children with disabilities’. The device was specially designed for the conditions of the child, who has some degree of paralysis.
“The students applied the theoretical basis in a practical way for the selecting of materials that functioned as an integral part of this type of solution. They were trained in the development of oral and written communication skills to express design concepts and finally they applied the previous concepts to ponder the implementation of solutions that involve biomechanical concepts, physiological constraints and engineering design. They did a great job,” says Oscar Campo, professor at the Faculty of Engineering.
For the purpose of developing this activity, Alex Diaz, Stephanie Londoño and Arles Mosquera had direct contact with the 11-year-old boy, besides having talks with his physiotherapists and other professionals of the Fundamor team.
Students were to design a walker that would assist his gait and making him more independent- he suffers from spastic quadriparesis. For that purpose, the team developed virtual prototypes, detail design, and testing and manufacturing solutions. “The experience was very rewarding. Meeting the children, and not only Marlon, encourages you to continue your studies to keep helping more people,” says Stephanie Londoño Zuluaga.
For Alex Díaz, a student in the Biomedical Engineering program, “it was very important in both professional and personal growth, because these are problems that sometimes as a student you can’t imagine. You don’t understand the magnitude of other people’s needs, and that my work can help so many people now is both encouraging and challenging.”
About the course
Complementary Activity is an open space in which the student freely selects various topics proposed by the professors of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, which in turn has academic validity. In these class exercises, the students have obtained great results, including veterinary and human prostheses, and walkers for the region.