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Students create device to make fatherhood easier for disabled father

Shared by Hugo Sousa on 2022-07-14 15:02

About the solution

Like many expectant fathers, Josh Basile envisioned the day his son, Calder, would be born. However, he was aware that even the most fundamental interactions, like holding and feeding him, would be challenging. Basile, paralyzed since he was a teen, knew that most baby carriers designed for people with similar disabilities are made for those with more mobility in their upper body.

On the advice of a friend, Basile, got in touch with Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, two months before his partner’s due date, in January 2022. His goal was to have a device that would allow him to interact with his baby face-to-face, strengthen the father-son bond, and safely transport the child on his wheelchair.
Eileen Haase, associate director of the biomedical engineering undergraduate program, launched the challenge to her students and right away 16, from biomedical and mechanical engineering, volunteered. Initially, the students were divided in teams to explore separate solutions, but in the end joined forces to create a single apparatus: a sturdy tray, made of aluminum, that would secure an infant or car seat to Basile’s wheelchair.

Days after Calder was born, Basile visited the facilities to test and learn how to use his new device. Guided by feedback from Basile, the students made some last-minute tweaks before sending the new father home to see how their invention performed in real life. It was during a neighborhood carnival that Basile fully realized how much the invention was helping him interact with his son: “I was on daddy duty. I had the baby on my chair, wheeling him all around. It gave me that independence to care for my son”.

The students were also thrilled with the device performance and impact, and shared how gratifying the experience was: “The goal was always to improve his life, and that’s what we did. It’s what makes all those hours in the machine shop worth it”.

This story was adapted from: https://www.bme.jhu.edu/news-events/news/device-makes-daddy-duty-easier-.... The images were taken from the same article.

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

In January 2022, students from Johns Hopkins University were challenged to create a device for a disabled father, who wanted to safely transport the child on his wheelchair.

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