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Engineers design systems to help children with special needs
Date:6/9/2014

, students learn about bioinstrumentation and how to develop sensors and hardware to measure physiological signals.

"It's often the students' first exposure to an open-ended design problem," Prakash said. "They identify a specific problem and propose how they can address that. It's a real-world problem, similar to the kind they will work on throughout their professional careers."

Some of the student-developed projects so far have included:

  • Smartphone tools and apps to help paraeducators track and record children's behavioral, physiological and cognitive development.

  • Wearable sensors, such as accelerometers, that can be placed in shoes or clothing to monitor self-abusive behaviors. The engineers are working with Minyoung Suh, assistant professor of apparel, textiles, and interior design, to develop wearable sensors embedded in clothing.

  • A musical toothbrush that tracks brushing activity and plays different songs so children know how long to brush the different areas of their mouths.

  • Multi-touch surface computer games that teach children how to sort items, take turns and interact with other children.

  • An adjustable stand for these multi-touch surface computers.

  • Mattress and bed sensors that track breathing rates, heart rates and movement of children while they are sleeping and potentially can alert paraeducators of seizures and bedwetting.

  • Shoe sensors to quantify the progress of children learning to walk.

Warren and Prakash are continuing the design courses every semester while the grant is active. When possible, the professors take students to Heartspring so they can tour the facility and better understand the usage environments.

Heartspring leaders continue to see the project's potential to make a difference in the lives of the children with special needs.

"All too often clinicians and teachers don't know what i
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Contact: Steven Warren
swarren@k-state.edu
785-532-4644
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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