It’s Not Just About the Robot!
High school students on FRC Team 316 LUNATECS participate in an adaptive device program in off-season when they’re not competing because it’s not just about the robot. The program affords the opportunity for the students to apply the engineering skills they have learned to improve the quality of life for others. The program focus this season is Project Propel’s swim fins for the Adaptive Diving Association (ADA).
The opportunity came about when the ADA contacted NS3DShop, an Etsy business owned by SJR alumni and mentor, Nate Simpkins. Once Nate understood what the ADA was in need of, he explained how SJR’s adaptive device program might be able to help. When the LUNATECS’ students and mentors learned how these fins could help veterans wounded in battle as well as individuals with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, MS, spins bifida, and other maladies, they were all in! They designed a custom mold, they had a CAD file created for the CNC machine in their workshop, and the team used the mold and other tools to manufacture each fin.
In a letter of recognition to the team, the ADA stated, “From our perspective, better design for manufacturability in the beginning of a project leads to an overall shorter timeline. You exceeded our expectations and we’re impressed with the successful execution and cost containment of Project Propel.”
In an effort to support the AD’As efforts to increase serving the number of amputees and other individuals with mobility issues, the LUNATECS have decided to donate the CAD and mold so that ADA can manufacture the adaptive fins through mass production. This pre-engineering program will impact many individuals looking to restore their independence, self-confidence, and self-esteem by learning SCUBA diving. Through this training, the diver experiences zero-gravity under water, giving the freedom of movement only SCUBA diving can provide.
If your organization has a need the LUNATECS may be able to help with, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications requesting assistance will be accepted now thru May 2020.