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Biomed Sci Instrum. 2005;41:352-7.

Safety enhancement of a specialized power assisted tricycle for a child with osteogenesis imperfecta type III.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070, USA.


A child in the community of Laramie, Wyoming was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is a genetic disorder that limits the physical abilities, size, and strength of the child. A customized power assisted tricycle was developed, which offered a unique opportunity to serve multiple purposes in his childhood development. This tricycle will ultimately provide him with the opportunity to gain muscle mass, strength, coordination, and confidence. The tricycle was completed as a senior design project in 2002, funded by the National Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Program and research to Aid Persons with Disabilities Program and University of Wyoming, College of Engineering Undergraduate Design Project to Aid Wyoming Persons with Disabilities. Unfortunately, the tricycle did not provide the necessary features to allow him to ride the tricycle safely. For this reason the tricycle was redesigned to include many different redundant safety systems which allows the tricycle to be safe for the child's use. Being funded by the same grant, new systems were added to the tricycle. A panic kill switch, automatic brakes, numerous redundant velocity sensors, tip over prevention circuitry, a redesigned operating system, a battery recharge port, and other systems were added, allowing for the tricycle to provide a high level of safety. A great deal of testing and sound design practices have been taken into consideration throughout the addition of these systems. Without these improvements, the child would not have the opportunity to use the tricycle to help with his development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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