Accessible Mounting and Positioning Technology

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Blue Sky Design, Inc.
Blue Sky Design, Inc., 540 Fairview Ave N, Ste 207, St. Paul, MN, 55104
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
(651) 603-0828
Business Contact:
(651) 603-0828
Research Institution:
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): People using wheelchairs are more active than ever before. Their wheelchair is a mobile station, a base from which they work, play and interact. Access from their wheelchair is essential, yet people are constrained by limitations imposed by existing mounts. Accessible mounting technology increases the independence and mobility of people with disabilities, resulting in greater autonomy and improved access across environments. With existing mounts, assistance is required to move devices to improve access or change activities. Using Accessible Mounting and Positioning Technology, people with minimal strength and dexterity can easily move and access several devices. Low effort controls lock devices in stable, user-specific positions and free it for easy repositioning. The dual arm facilitates quick and flexible positioning to optimize function. Multiple devices, such as inclined book stands and rotating trays, may be attached, increasing access and choices. It may be customized for a user's abilities and changing needs, with universal quick releases, adjustable resistance and bed or table mounts. Safety is enhanced in transfers, with devices stowing close to the chair. In Phase II, the design is refined based on Phase I results and user input. Consumers and professionals provide input through focus groups, interviews, usability testing, and extended testing in a person's own environment. Technical improvements are developed using SolidWorks software to create 3D models of components and assemblies. MotionWorks is used to "virtually test" assemblies, simulating kinematic and dynamic behavior. Loads calculated by MotionWorks are used in Finite Element analysis, to optimize the arm design. 3D files are used to produce CNC-machined parts, and prototypes are assembled and tested to technical specifications. Commercial applications: The core technology is the dual arm with a low effort lock/release mechanism, wheelchair attachment hardware, and universal quick release attachments. Modular components such as trays, AAC mounts, table clamps, bed clamps, floor stands, friction-based arms, and other application specific accessories expand its utility and potential in other markets, including mounts for recliners, office chairs, work stations, labs, machine shops, lighting and photography. Relevance to public health: The aim of the proposed technology is to enhance and maximize a person's capabilities, increasing their access and independence across environments. This mobile, adaptable and accessible technology reduces barriers, making it easier for people to do more, leading more productive, fulfilling and independent lives.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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