A team from UBC Engineering—students Graeham Douglas, Enrico Guld, Stephen Herbrik, Mark Hewett, Colin Keightley, Fraser McDonald and Zach Ross, supervised by mechanical engineering professors Mike Van der Loos and Antony Hodgson and electrical and computer engineering professor Philippe Kruchten—has won the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) B.C. 2010 Innovation Award for their Neck Brace and Eye Gaze project and a $1,000 prize.
Their project, a powered head-support system for people with late-stage ALS, allows for comfortable support of the head and a return of head motion function to people who experience extreme weakness of the neck muscles. There is currently no effective device on the market that provides this for people living with ALS.
This year’s innovation featured the use of an eye-gaze tracker to control the motions of the system. The student team was supported by Mirametrix Research, Inc., a start-up from UBC, through the loan of the eye-gaze tracking equipment.
For more information, visit www.engineering.ubc.ca/news/2010/may13.html