Off-Road Pediatric Walker

One of our incredibly talented senior design team completing the Off-Road Pediatric Walker in December 2020. Despite many setbacks and challenges during a pandemic, the team designed, manufactured and tested the new walker add-ons to improve off-road mobility without compromising safety or usability.

To improve the user’s mobility, the team designed and manufactured interchangeable wheel hubs that can be easily installable on R82’s Crocodile walker.  These hubs interface with wheel extensions that allow the walker to be quickly adapted to specific terrain.  Additionally, the team replaced the Crocodile’s front casters with casters designed to house a larger, pneumatic wheel.

To ensure the user’s safety, the hub has an integrated braking and anti-rollback system that can be engaged by the user.  Additionally, all the hub components can support the weight of any Crocodile user.

The team also designed and manufactured a lightweight hammock seat that is easily installable on the Crocodile.  The seat does not interfere with the user’s experience when not in use, but can be easily engaged to comfortably support the user.

Grace, an active seven-year-old who loves playing soccer, has been using the team’s add-ons on her Crocodile walker.  According to Grace’s father, the walker’s improved mobility will not only help her on the soccer field but will also allow her to participate in a variety of new outdoor activities.

Student Team Members: Chad Andersen, Morgan Barron, Reid Gardner, Jordy Osborne, Arthur Steur, and Rulon Stitzer

Merryweather and TetraSki Featured in University of Utah Magazine-Winter 2020

“It’s such an honor to work with visionary people like Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbluth. Through his forward thinking, nothing is impossible attitude and the hard work and creativity of many student engineers, we can realize the impossible. Thanks to all those who dedicate countless hours and efforts to developing technologies unmatched anywhere in the world.” – Dr. Andrew Merryweather


E&S PADS Featured

The PADS (Portable Accessible Dock System) is highlighted in the Student Innovation at the U 2018, 11 Ways Students are Creating the Future…and How You Can Too.  This publication is produced by the University of Utah‘s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

The PADS was developed by Ergonomics & Safety Program graduate student Nicholas Brown (MSME 2018) and Prof. Andrew S. Merryweather in conjunction with Dr. Jeffrey P. Rosenbluth, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Acute Rehabilitation Program at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

PADS is also discussed in the E&S Program’s Enabling Technology page.


Moriah Henning at Research on Capitol Hill

Undergraduate researcher Moriah Henning was selected to present her work at the 19th Annual Research on Capitol Hill event on March 5th 2019. Moriah completed two semesters of research under Dr. Andrew Merryweather on characterizing the open-source, 3D-printed, InMoov robotic hand as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). She analyzed the hand’s limitations and abilities through computer and physical testing to better understand improvements that could be made to the design.

U student researchers head to Capitol Hill

TetraSki on NBC’s Today Show

The NBC News journalist Harry Smith traveled to Utah to film the TetraSki and tell the story of its development by the Tetradapt Team at the University of Utah.  His story aired Saturday on the TODAY SHOW on NBC television!

This story features Derek Sundquist, an inspiring athlete who endured a spinal cord injury several years ago, and who is now again skiing independently again thanks to the TetraSki.

Watch the Video.

The TetraSki was shown in an Ergonomics & Safety Program post on January 4, 2019 regarding Rehabilitation and Enabling Technology.

Moriah Henning at the Utah Conference for Undergraduate Research

Moriah Henning, a senior in Mechanical Engineering, presented a poster at the Utah Conference for Undergraduate Research (UCUR) at Weber State on Friday, February 22nd. The conference is modeled after the National Conference for Undergraduate Research and invites undergraduates from all disciplines to apply. It provides a great opportunity for undergraduates to share their work in a scholarly setting to other students, faculty, and community members from all over Utah.

Moriah completed two semesters of research under Dr. Andrew Merryweather on characterizing the open-source, 3D-printed, InMoov robotic hand as part of the the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). She analyzed the hand’s limitations and abilities through computer and physical testing to better understand improvements that could be made to the design. Presenting at UCUR gave her the opportunity to meet other undergraduate students doing research and to share her own research outside the lab.

Rehabilitation and Enabling Technology

Rehabilitation and Enabling Technology

The University of Utah Rehabilitation Center – in partnership with the Colleges of Health, Mechanical Engineering Ergonomics & Safety Program, Computer Science, Businesses, and Architecture and Planning – conducts research and development in the field of assistive technology and adaptive recreation.

The Rehabilitation Center and Tetradapt ( currently has as their core project the TetraSki, the world’s first independent alpine sit-ski for any physical disability (shown above).  The Tetradapt Community is a nonprofit organization working closely with the University of Utah to build, distribute and support assistive technology products and is the vision of adaptive sports leader and founder, Jeffrey Rosenbluth, spinal cord injury medical director at the University of Utah Rehabilitation Center.

Also among the enabling-technology projects undertaken by the partnership listed above is the PADS project (shown below).

PADS–Portable Aquatic Docking System

Dr. Mitja Trkov and Fall-Prevention Awareness 2018 Events

On September 14th and 20th, Dr. Mitja Trkov attended the Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services Fall-Prevention Awareness events which were open to the general public.  Dr. Trkov shared fall-prevention tips and discussed Ergonomics & Safety Program research.  He was accompanied by Prof. Andrew Merryweather on the 14th and by Prof. Ken d’Entremont on the 20th.

Attendees were able to learn of simple ergonomic principles to help prevent the slip, trip, and fall of the aging population.  In addition, many of those attending were able to see dynamic pressure maps of their own feet in real-time using the E&S Program’s instrumented insoles as shown in the photograph below (September 20, 2018).

Dr. Mitja Trkov explains the foot-pressure map of instrumented shoe insoles to an attendee at the Salt Lake County Fall-Prevention Awareness Event (September 20, 2018).

The Tetra Universal Controller to be Showcased at CES 2017

TheTetra Universal Controller

Deseret News: SALT LAKE CITY — Four innovative University of Utah technologies will be exhibited at CES 2017, the world’s largest and best-known consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show, which runs Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas.

This marks the U.’s third consecutive year at the event — and largest representation yet. The U. technologies on exhibit include:

• TheTetra Universal Controller, a device that expands the number of input commands to individuals with quadriplegia/tetraplegia who use “sip and puff” systems to control mobility devices.

The ability to perform complex actions or sequences in these current systems is significantly limited. The Tetra Universal Controller combines pattern recognition, timing and pressure intensity, which allows for a virtually unlimited number of control directives, giving users more control and independence over their lives.

The controller was developed by Jeffrey Rosenbluth, associate professor and medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Acute Rehabilitation program; Ross Imburgia, research engineer in the division of physical medicine and rehabilitation; and Andrew Merryweather, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

• Adaptive glasses, which are smart lenses that in less than a 50th of a second automatically put into focus what a user is looking at, whether that object is at a distance or up close.

The liquid lenses use a tiny laser and a small amount of electricity to autofocus. They are controlled by an electronic actuator that compresses or stretches the lens based on what the wearer is looking at, thus providing a variable aperture.

The glasses work in a similar way to bifocal spectacles in that they provide the user with a range of focus beyond that of traditional eyewear. The glasses were developed by members of the electrical and computer engineering department.

• UPlay Piano, an interactive, web-based instructional software program for teaching young children how to play the piano. Each lesson contains an illustrated story to introduce new concepts, demonstrations and game sections to teach theory and musicianship, piano pieces for practice and a test to reinforce knowledge of concepts.

The program employs a link to allow students to interact with the online website while playing on any electronic keyboard. The platform also includes an online database allowing parents and teachers to track student progress. UPlay Piano was developed by members of the music school.

• The Sentinel 100, a credit card-size board and chipset based on the work of Cynthia Furse, a professor and associate vice president for research, that enables engineers, equipment manufacturers and system operators to monitor electrical systems for critical faults in live electrical wires when embedded into a product.