TOM:Calgary Makeathon 2017

Team Under Pressure

High pressure detection for prevention of pressure sores

Pressure sores occur when there is too much pressure on the skin, restricting blood flow to areas of tissue. It is a serious problem for wheelchair or bedridden people. If undetected and untreated the skin blisters, develops an open, sunken hole, and may become so deep that there is damage to muscle, bone, tendons and joints.

“Team Under Pressure” is developing a thin pressure sensing layer that can be added to a wheelchair cushion, is connected to an Arduino, and communicates with a cell-phone to deliver notifications based on pressure durance and high localized pressure.

Developed by:  Danielle Whittier, Dingcheng Cao, Joel Wong, Marlot Johanna Blaak, Kiran Dhaliwal

Heads Up!

Hands free neck brace

Former millwright and current innovator Mike Faucher has ALS. He has developed an extensive series of devices to maintain his independence (for bathing, dressing, eating, etc.) after losing the use of his hands. He currently needs a neck brace to help lift and support his head, but wants to be able to put it on himself. He and his team have developed a solution using magnetic connections.

Developed by:  Diana Dang, Ilho Cho, Christian Kindrat, Mike and Maya Faucher

Home Grown Cyclone

Aerobic exercise machine to slow Parkinson’ s

Gail lost her legs at 38, and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six years ago. Aerobic exercise slows the progression of Parkinson’s but shoulder arthritis prevents her from doing upper body exercises. The goal was to design a way to allow Gail to
engage in lower body aerobic exercise to help slow her progression of Parkinson’s; the solution was to make modifications to a tricycle so that Gail can use her “stumps” to ride a bike again.

Developed by:  Maryam Majedi, John Miko, Waheed Zaman, Breanna Borys, Alex Wyma, Gail and Brad Hvenegaard


Communication Aid for Non-Verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder

Arnold has non-verbal ASD and can’t communicate his feelings, wants and needs. The team developed an application for iOS and Android devices that allows the user to record videos of them performing tasks and allows them to playback those videos to help understand verbal communication. The videos are played back when the user presses a button with an emoji associated with the feeling or need that is being communicated.

Developed by:  Paul Parkin, Bea Esguerra, Mason Brothers, Cal Wilkes, Shuchang Xu

Aaron’s Joystick Remote

Custom TV Remote for Limited Mobility

Aaron is a lively 36 year old with Cerebral Palsy and developmental disabilities. He has limited hand and arm mobility and has difficulty with operating a common TV remote as the buttons are too small and too stiff for him to press. He watches TV from his bed, so the remote needs to be close to him and secure enough on the bed for him to use without having to ask for help.

Solution: A custom TV remote featuring a 2-axis joystick. The remote is programmed to perform certain functions (raise/lower volume, channel up/down, power on/off) given certain joystick commands. The electronics are enclosed in a 3D printed case that is bolted together for easy disassembly. The base of this remote may feature a beanbag-like structure to accommodate a variety of range-of-motions for the user’s hand OR an additional angled wedge base for angle adjustment (mainly for comfort).

Developed by:  Robert Schuh, Patrick Ma, Celina Espinoza, Brian Rhodes

Remote Blood Glucose Monitoring

Glucose levels connected to internet to alert loved ones

Daniel is an active 10 year old who was diagnosed 5 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes. He wears a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM) alongside a waist-worn computer and insulin pump. When Daniel’s blood glucose drifts outside of safe ranges, the only alarm given is from his pump which is too quiet to wake him up at night, and too quiet to be heard under layers of clothing during winter sports activities.

The team developed a system to upload Daniel’s blood glucose values to the internet, such that his parents can remotely monitor his blood glucose and receive alarms in case of emergency.

Developed by:  Ajmer Atwal, Akash Melethil, Alison Zhang, Bailey Duncan, Bryce Besler, David Garrett, Martin Freeman


Adjustable Toe-Nail Clipper that doesn’t require bending over


Rebecca has spina bifida- a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. She challenged the team to make a toenail clipper that could be operated without the user bending over. This would allow her to gain additional independence in her day-to-day life.

The team developed a portable nail-clipping device with an emphasis on stability, visual magnification, and adjustability.

Developed by:  Jacob George, Riley Booth, Patrick Ma, Raymond Diep

LipSync Buildathon

TOM:Alberta partnered with Makers Making Change (a Neil Squire Society Initiative) to build 20 of these devices.

Local high school students got a taste of the TOM:Calgary 2017 Makeathon by participating in a LipSync Buildathon Event on location with the rest of the TOM 2017 teams.

The pre-3D-printed parts and electronics were soldered and assembled to make 20 complete LipSync devices. The devices are mouth-controlled input devices to help those with no or limited hand dexterity to use touchscreen devices.


Developed by:  Neil Squire Society


TOM:Calgary Makeathon 2016

Hosted by EGB Manufacturing Ltd.

Rose’s Cane

Extra Set of Hands

Our need knower, Rose, has parkinson’s disease. She often loses her balance, but especially when she bends down to reach for something. This design has a “grabber” incorporated into the cane. It allows for simultaneous use of the cane’s supporting function – and a grabber function. The user positions the cane near the dropped object and aims the cane using a laser light. The arm then extends downward and grabs the object with a robotic clenching hand. The arm then retracts and the user can grasp the dropped object.

Developed by:  Tahmid Khan, Lauren Jatana,  Ismail Kamal, and Bob Cai

Straight Up G

A haptic feedback device to let the user know when they have improper posture habits.

Gloria is a legally blind engineer that has a habit of leaning over to read written material. This habit over many years has led to chronic back pain. The solution is to house a gyroscope inside a 3d printed case that will clip on to the user’s collar or front pocket. When the gyroscope has detected that the user has been bent over for a certain amount of time, a vibrator will inform the user to pay attention to their posture.

Developed by: Alan Yu, Ellie Chen and Lucas Chen


Bluetooth equalizer for hearing loss

A simple, portable device to substantially amplify or attenuate specific frequencies in electrical audio signals.

Developed by: Gina Nenniger, Yuting He, Paul Parkin, Martin Berka, Tanner Collin

Quadriplegic Lift

Portable and compact lift to transport mobility disabled people from wheelchair to bed.

On December 7th, 2016, Ben was injured in a diving accident and is now quadriplegic. Still at the rehabilitation hospital, Ben is determined to achieve independence – including the ability to travel.  He requires a body lift to help get him into bed, but there are currently no portable lifts on the market.

The team successfully designed a portable body lift, weighing only 50 lbs, that can fit into a check-in bag and can be easily assembled by a single person.

Developed by: Anubhav Gupta, Guy Musahanov, Justin Bagga, Zaid Abdul


Web-based goal planner

Kari has dyslexia and has trouble organizing her goals. Her disability makes it difficult for her to break down her goals into discrete steps. Goalie is a web­-based planner application, incorporating special features that are designed to help individuals break down their goals into specifics tasks.

Developed by: Mason Brothers, Ulian and Paul Natarajan

Motorized Elbow Project (“Project Zhao”)

Wheel­chair mounted elbow motion stroke rehabilitation robot

Zhao suffered  a stroke and lost motion with his left arm. Zhao has not received adequate physiotherapy and as a result both his arm and hand has ended up in a contracted position in front of his chest. Robotic rehabilitation is one solution to this problem, but the devices available are expensive and relatively new to the market. Our need knower desired an affordable, wheelchair accessible and custom made device for Zhao.

Developed by: Riley Booth, Isaac Calvillo, Jacob George, Roberto Martinez, Kartikeya Murari, Calven Tsuu

Raising Chair

Comfortable, easy access chair to participate in family activities

Diagnosed with Rett Sydrome at the age of 2, Hillary is now a 19 year old high school graduate who enjoys playing baseball, bowling, and horseback riding. Because of Rett Syndrome, Hillary has  no verbal communication capacity and limited fine+gross motor skill. A chair with raising/lowering capabilities was designed so that she can join her family in regular meals and interactions.

Team Members & Contributors: Michal Dattner, Mahmoud Elshaikh, Phil Koster & EGB Manufacturing, Chris Kotelmach, Daniel Krayzel, Reza Zedah

TOM:Calgary Makeathon 2015

Hosted by The Mini Maker Faire at Telus Spark

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