A team of KAIST students, consisting of five undergraduates (Do-Hoon Kwon, Tae-Hyun Kim, Hak-Gi Do, Hyun-Joo Lee, and Jong-Ho Jeong) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the grand prize at the Innovative Design Contest held at Osaka University in Japan on December 12-13, 2016. The event took place during the 16th Asia Design Engineering Workshop (A-DEWS).
For this year’s contest, a total of ten student teams from such countries as Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia participated, and Team KAIST earned the highest scores. The five KAIST students, all taking the course entitled “Production of Creative Systems,” developed a manual wheelchair accessory called “Safe Attachable Wheelchair Assistive Device in Capstone Design (SAWADiCap).
SAWADiCap is a detachable auxiliary power device that increases the range and mobility of manual wheelchairs. The device can easily be installed and removed, compared to existing add-on attachments for wheelchairs. Users can also enjoy similar advantages offered by powered wheelchairs at a lower cost. In their presentation on the device, the KAIST students introduced their design to improve the power of manual wheelchairs employing the magnetic reinforcement effect and to include the safety features necessary for users to install or operate the device.
Do-Hoon Kwon said, “Our team had a great experience participating in the contest—we met people with diverse backgrounds and expanded our understanding in the field.”
Professor Seibum B. Choi of the Mechanical Engineering Department, who advises the KAIST team, added, “I hope our technology can help the spread of affordable wheelchairs and increase mobility for the disabled.”
Established in 2000, A-DEWS is held annually by the Asian branch of the Design Engineering Workshop to provide an international forum for researchers and practitioners in the field of design engineering by facilitating the exchange of recent research results and sharing knowledge about design strategies and methods. This year’s theme for the workshop was “Innovation of Life.”
A-DEWS hosts the Innovative Design Contest to encourage young engineers, researchers, and students who are creating innovative products, services, and product-services and to show appreciation for their efforts.