"Motorized Neck Brace System" project by MECH students wins "Award of Distinction"

Building on last year’s award-winning “Dynamic Neck Brace” project in MECH 457 (2007-2008), the ALS Society of British Columbia increased its support for neck brace design projects this past academic year (2008-2009), as well as for other projects at UBC, SFU, UVic and BCIT that promote the well-being of persons with ALS. A total of 12 student projects were submitted this April for consideration of the Design Award, 4 from UBC.

The “Principal Award” ($5,000), went to Samuel Chua of UBC’s EECE Dept.
for the “Automated Speech Recognition and Intelligibility Enhancement System for PALS with BiPAP Assisted Breathing” project.

The “Award of Distinction”($2,500) went to the “Motorized ALS Neck Brace” project, an interdisciplinary collaboration between supervisor Dr. Van der Loos and students Eric Wen, Brad Neels, Anmy Ho, Sassan Nawabi Shirazi, Varun Rana Singh, Jay Liu, and Jayson Rupert, from UBC’s MECH 451/2 mechatronics capstone design class and in the Industrial Design program of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

The “Motorized ALS Neck Brace” project is recommended for its group’s achievement in support and mobility of the head, incorporating motorized assistance. The UBC Mechanical Engineering Team collaborated with an Emily Carr student on this impressively designed project, which the PALS Panel members actually trialed on themselves.