A five-year-old girl who is blind and has cerebral palsy had a difficult time trying to sense objects near her as she used her walker in the hallways of Allen Elementary in Soddy-Daisy.
l-r: Jonathon Johnson, Chris Parrish,
Joshua Solomon and Dustin Gray
UTC engineering students Joshua Solomon, Jonathan Johnson, Chris Parrish and Dustin Gray accepted the challenge to create a substitute for a white cane, which conveys blindness, but was impossible for the little girl to hold.
“We needed to allow her to identify herself to others as blind, find something that would protect her and at the same time detect obstacles,” Solomon said.
They created a Walker Obstacle Detector, done up in white with a red stripe. In six weeks of class time with Dr. Cecelia Wigal, the team took three weeks to brainstorm and then two weeks to build and test their creation.
“It is adjustable and lifts up for easy access,” Solomon said. “We considered it to be the most practical solution.”