IV Pole Redesign

A group of senior Mechanical Engineering students redesigned an IV pole for safer use by solving the problem of cord and tube management while making the IV pole more ergonomic. The project was advised by Professor Andrew Merryweather as part of the Capstone Course at the University of Utah. The new design provides better access for connecting pumps and accessories to the IV Pole, manages cords and tubing, and prevents tripping over the power cord using a creative magnetic breakaway plug.

Group Members: Hamam AlOraimi, Taylor Cook, Ricardo Nicolia, Ryan Wilcox, Austin Williams

Smart Insoles – Lifting Coach

Senior Mechanical Engineering students advised by Professor Andrew Merryweather showcased their work during Design Day. The purpose of the insoles is to quantify biomechanical loading to understand risk and reduce musculoskeletal injuries from material handling. I’m proud of the team’s accomplishments and their efforts on the project. You can read more about the project on their poster.

Project Team:

Zack Anderson

Tayt Cooper

Justin Starr

Taylor Van Roosendaal

Jacob Worthington

Erik Steenburgh

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2022)
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2019)

Email: u0543201@utah.edu
Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research:

Ergonomic modeling, motion analysis, contaminated aerosol containment, flow simulation


Amir Yazdani

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2021)
M.S.  Mechanical Engineering, AmirKabir University of Technology
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology

Website:  https://amir-yazdani.github.io/
Email:  amir.yazdani@utah.edu
Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research: 
1. Improvement of Human Safety and In Human-and-Robot Interaction

Due to recent developments in collaborative robots, industries are more intended to use them in collaboration with human workers. In this project, we tried to improve human safety while interacting with collaborative robots by implementing safety measures into planning and control algorithms of these robots.  The goals of this research project are:

  1. Study human motion in a shared autonomy workplace interacting with a collaborative robot.
    • To have better understanding on human body motion in collaboration tasks, a motion capture system connected to ROS is used which provides online human postures and also records those motions for later studies
    • Develop a reinforcement learning algorithm to find the cost function of human motion and use it to predict the human motion
  2. Develop an algorithm for real-time optimal motion planning and failure-tolerant control of robots which maintains safety measures and improves productivity at the same time.
    • The novel algorithm is based on convex optimization and MPC and ensures the collision avoidance and safety measures between human and robot and simultaneously improves productivity by completing the task without stopping or lowering the speed and follow the global optimal path. In addition, the algorithm reduces harmful velocity and force jumps caused by the actuator failure in the robot.
    • Use the prediction of human motion to improve the performance of motion planner algorithm

2. Estimation and Ergonomic Analysis of Human Posture in Tele-Manipulation Tasks

In this project, we focused on improvement of ergonomics in tele-manipulation task in which human has physical interaction with tele-operation robots and it is where evidences show high rate of musculoskeletal injuries. The goals of this projects include:

  1. Posture estimation of human doing a tele-manipulation task
    • Posture of human while having physical interaction with a tele-operation robot is estimated by only using the trajectory of the robot without any vision system. The problem modeled as a partially-observed Hidden Markovian Model (HMM) and solved via a filtering approach.
  2. Online ergonomic analysis of human posture in tele-manipulation
    • Develop an online ergonomics analysis algorithm that is based on current ergonomics study methods (such as RULA–Rapid Upper-Limb Assessment) .
    • Use OpenSim software with improved cost functions to score a posture
  3. Smart re-mastering of the tele-manipulation robot to maintain human posture in an ergonomic manifold while doing different tele-manipulation tasks
    • Model the problem as a POMDP problem

Research Interests:  Human-Centered Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Probabilistic Robotics, Robot Learning and Perception, Telemanipulation, HRI/HRC, Safety, and Ergonomics
Personal Interests:  Fly fishing, Hiking, and Mountain Biking

Dorothy Taylor

PhD Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (Expected graduation 2022)

MS Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University (1997)

BS Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University (1994)

E-mail: u1091203@utah.edu
Phone: 801-581-8135
Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research:
Past Research: Key Indicators of Successful Interdisciplinary Product Development Teams
Research Area of interest: Home health monitoring technologies, Assistive Technology and Devices, Biomechanics

Personal Statement: When I am not researching and studying, I enjoy teaching undergraduate engineering students all about the design process as it’s applied to product development. I also enjoy spending time with my husband, 8 children, 2 son-in-laws and 1 grandson! We enjoy creating and trying new things, hiking, camping and traveling coast to coast.

Scott Tew

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2022)
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University (2020)

Email: u1318550@utah.edu
Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research:

Prosthetics, Adaptive Sports, and Biomechanics

Katie Allen

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2022)
B.S. Mechanical, Idaho State University (2021)

Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research: Wearable Sensors, Motion Capture, Posture Assessment

Personal Statement:

Katrina Cernucan

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2026)
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of University (2021)

Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research: Biomechanics, Gait Analysis, Ergonomics, Balance, Falls

Personal Statement:

Alex Ingram

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah (2025)
B.S. Bioengineering, Syracuse University (2015)

Email: u1319643@utah.edu
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/acingram32/
Lab: MEB 2215

Current Research: Biomechanics, Gait Analysis, Adaptive Sports, Mechanisms of Injury, and Ergonomics

Personal Statement: Outside of the lab, I enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, and Olympic lifting.  I also really like to cook.