Rose-Hulman Students Create a Device that has a Big Impact

By Melissa Crash

Published 05/13 2014 03:50PM

Updated 05/14 2014 03:26PM

Many people take for granted their favorite daily activities. But for some, it can be a huge task.

Rose-Hulman students partnered with DSI of Vigo County in hopes to bring light into someone's daily routine.

Three students created a paint brush device and canvas for a handicapped lady named Bonnie.

Bonnie's favorite daily activity is painting, but before this helpful project, it was almost impossible for her to enjoy art.

Bonnie was smiling ear to ear when she was able to hold the paint brush in her hand, while easily moving the brush against the paper.

Brian McHugh, one of the seniors who created the device said, "We invented two devices, an easel device so she can access a canvas easier. As well as, a paint brush device, which will allow her to grip a paint brush in a way that is comfortable to her with her hand orientation."

When Rose-Hulman and DSI partner together, they not only benefit themselves, but the lifestyles of the program's clients.

The day manager at DSI, Jodi Lemmon stated, "It helps so much with our program, it gives our clients a chance to be able to have new things, have new adaptive ways to do things."

While working with bonnie, the students learned the importance of impacting a person's life, and that's the reason they wanted to get involved in the first place.

"The whole reason we got into Bio-Medical Engineering we all kind of wanted to help people, we wanted to make a difference in people lives, and this is kind of the tangible way to see that impact we made in our four years of education at Rose-Hulman," said McHugh.

With the project complete, DSI officials and the students have already seen the huge impact it has made on Bonnie.

"She started to talk more with the students, she told them what she wanted, she's just expressed what she needs to be able to do and the excitement on her face shows everything," said Lemmon.

Before the students, DSI workers would put their wrists under Bonnie's elbow to help guide her hand to use the paintbrush.

But now, she's able to do her favorite activity on her own.

Last year, Rose-Hulman students designed a system that brought cornstarch through a funnel for their contract work.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.