Introduction: Rotam

We are building silicone cover solutions to prevent water from damaging electronics in power wheelchairs. We are a team of 4, comprised of 2 technical business students, a computer science major and a very talented industrial designer.

Step 1: Finding an Opportunity

Our journey began when we were introduced to Ryan, a recent UIUC graduate and power wheelchair user himself. We heard unbelievable stories of his multi-thousand-dollar machine simply powering off in the rain because of circuit leakage - and we could not believe it. Ryan resorted to literally using a ziploc bag to protect the electronics and avoid being stuck helplessly in the rain, banking on kind pedestrians to assist him in getting under a roof. It didn’t take us long to commit to embarking on this semester long design challenge, and trying to help Ryan find a sustainable way to stay dry in the rain.

Step 2: Scan Area Needed for Protection

You will first need access to an iPad and a Structure Sensor. Download a 3D scanning app for Structure Sensor from the iPad app store. Finally start capturing precise 3D models instantly. Check out Structure Sensor Tutorial App linked below for some great scanning tips.

A few tips being:

-Scan things at a comfortable height

-Give yourself 360 degrees of access to the object you are trying to capture

-Scan 1 meter from subject

Step 3: Print 3D Scan of Arm and Joystick

Thanks to the accuracy of the 3D scanned replica of the powerwheel chair arm and joystick a form fitted skin could be made by using the information from the Structure Sensor. Most applicaitons you will use to capture the 3D information will output a file that is compatable with Fusion 360. Import the file to Fusion and create a two part mold with holes where youll want the silicone injected.

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    3 years ago

    This is awesome! Very cool project and you guys definitely had a great semester. I would say it would be really great a video of your team doing the scan that you did and including the file like mentioned above to really understand what this looks like. Overall definitely a cool project and really useful - still amazes me that they make non-waterproof electronic wheel chairs!


    3 years ago

    It was really cool to see your project broken down like this! I think it would be further useful if you linked to the file you got from the 3D scan somewhere so that other people can see what that file looks like. Also, I think more detail in how to make the two part mold would be useful, possibly the steps you had to take in order to get it done. Overall, this was a really cool project, and I really hope someone on your team will take this further!