It was the mid-1960s and Nicholas “Nick” Donofrio G’71, H’11 described it as a “great time” for electrical engineers. They were in huge demand and the young graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute took a job at IBM in Poughkeepsie, New…
Invent@SU Students Design Inflatable Cushion to Help People with Mobility Challenges
As part of the Invent@SU session held in New York City during the summer of 2017, Kalia Barrow ’17 and Ruby Batbaatar ’19 invented “Pneu-Strength.” There device is an inflatable cushion system that can help people with mobility issues to stand up from a seated position.
“We were really thinking about aging populations and the activities of daily life,” said Barrow.
“Millions of people around the country and around the world have issues standup up and sitting down on just chairs and councils,” said Batbaatar. “It might seem like a small part of human life but for people who are mobile, we don’t really notice how big of an issue this is for many people.”
“Very early on, we thought inflatable,” said Barrow. “It’s lightweight, it is versatile.”
“This is something that different people with different weights, different body shapes and sizes could use,” Batbaatar.
“Pneu-Strength is to be installed ahead of time in a user’s favorite chair or couch,” said Barrow. “The deflated cushion is placed on the seat of the couch.”
“Part of the unit goes under the chair so the weight of that compressor unit is held stable on the ground. When they decide they want to stand up, they will hold onto the handles, press the button that starts the compressor and it will start inflating air into the cushion,” said Batbaatar.
“The air compressor will begin to gradually inflate the cushion and it will start with inflating the two side barriers to ensure the user does not fall to one side or the other, so the user will be raised to a nearly standing position,” said Barrow.
“The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to 98 million in 2050,” said Barrow.
“We want all those people to be independent and happy,” said Batbaatar. “Performing the daily task of standing up and sitting down.”
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint, and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths: a pioneering history dating back to 1870; a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students; more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries; and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit www.syracuse.edu.