Team 357's WheelChair

OK, I am listening now to a radio show call “Kid Chris” (spin-off of Howard Stern) on 94.1 in Philly and South Jersey, and I just heard that the students from Team 357, Royal Assault just receive a grant from MIT to produce their “omni directional wheelchair”.

Good news Team 357 and best of luck completing the project.

Wow, congrats 357! That’s a huge step!

Great Job guys!
This is one of those times when you can look up and say that FIRST is really changing the culture and creating an impact. This is the best way to use this knowledge and help out the ones who need it the most and create an impact on the cummunity and change the culture.

Not similar to this project, but Team 612 (my team) is currently working on a voice-activated wheelchair for a disable kid, who cannot use his hands to drive a wheel chair. So far we just have worked out the logistics and ordered the materials…details will come out soon!!

I can’t wait to see the omni-chair (I’ll assume it will be using the Mecanum “Jester” drive that 357 has been known for the last couple years).

The chair is all but complete and travels to MIT this coming week. This project comes from an Invent Team Grant 357 applied for several months ago. Yes, it’s Jester Drive. I have not had a chance to go visit and see the product, but in talking with team leaders, they are excited about the results they are seeing. Look for more news out of the 357 camp on this incredible project soon.

Here are some details …

I have been fortunate to see Team 357 present an overview of this project.

Another FIRST team who received an Invent Team Grant this year was 928 from inner city Washington DC.
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School’s robotics team was awarded a
$10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program to develop its
invention: a cell-phone locker. Banneker, like many schools,
prohibits its students from bringing cell phones into the school. The
team invented a cell phone locker which will be located in the foyer
of the school. Students will swipe their student ID’s or use a
fingerprint scanner to open their own locker. They’ll place their cell
phones in the locker and retrieve them at the end of the day. The
team hopes to market their invention to health clubs (which now
prohibit patrons from bringing cell phones - as they might have
cameras - into locker rooms.)

Congrats to the initiative of both these teams.

Team 357’s Lemelson MIT InvenTeam will be traveling to MIT this week to present the completed omnidirectional wheelchair project.

The wheelchair features a 10" version of the “Jester Drive” mecanum wheel drivetrain used on Royal Assault’s 2005 and 2006 robots. The wheelchair is controlled by a 3 axis joystick connected to a custom circuit board designed for this project. The wheelchair also makes use of the dual layer urethane rollers developed and tested the 2006 FRC robot.

The team will be releasing more information after the MIT event, including video, pictures and list of our project partners.

2006 InvenTeam Photo

Simply amazing work. I don’t have any intention of needing a wheelchair anytime soon, but if I did, I’d know who to look up!