The Grasshopper, a wheelchair designed for use on "off-road" terrain, earned a grand prize for a team of senior San Josť State University manufacturing systems students in the Society of Manufacturing Engineer's "Manufacturing Challenge Competition, " held this month at WESTEC 2000 in Los Angeles.
The Grasshopper, created and manufactured entirely by the students, is designed to provide better access to public parks and pathways for wheelchair users and thus enhance the lives of disabled persons.
The wheelchair incorporates many innovations, according to technology professor and project advisor Seth Bates. "Based on a completely original frame design, it incorporates lightweight aircraft aluminum components, precision-machined swingarms and a fully independent rear suspension," he says. The chair also features advanced technologies used in off-road bicycles and therapeutic seating.
A total of 16 colleges and universities, including the University of Arizona, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, competed for the SME grand prize, which includes a cash award of $2500. Pictures of the Grasshopper and the student team will be available at www.engr.sjsu.edu/tech after March 25.
Listed below are the members of the winning team and their hometowns:
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News