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Hopkins Engineering Undergrads' Inventions: Power Tools For Double Amputee, Military Surveillance Robot

ection by an enemy sentry. A camera and a microphone mounted on the device could transmit important surveillance information without risking a soldier's life. Students Josh Nisenbaum, Chris Singer and David Stein took up the challenge, developing a radio-controlled system, consisting of interlocking platforms, which exceeded their sponsor's expectations.

"This is real engineering," says Raymond Von Wahlde, an Army Research Laboratory official who oversaw the project. "It's an excellent class. Not only do the students get to apply the engineering skills they've learned in class, but they have to be able to present an oral report and a written report. They had to do a lot of research to find out what components are available and what has to be machined. And they had to work within a budget."

Each team, working within a $6,000 budget, had to design a device, purchase or fabricate the parts, and assemble the final product. Other projects developed this year included a lightweight, inexpensive page-turning device for the disabled; and a scanning unit that inspects cracks inside elbow-shaped utility pipes. Four of this year's projects cannot be unveiled publicly because of the need to protect a sponsor's patent rights.

The Engineering Design Project course is taught by Andrew F. Conn, a Hopkins graduate with more than 25 years of experience in public and private research and development. In past years, his students have developed a "safer" handgun that does not fire in the hands of an unauthorized user; an infrared mouth-held device that allows a quadriplegic to operate a computer from bed; an automatic wheelchair brake; a bicycle helmet that offers more protection than commercial headgear; and a wheelchair lift powered by a van's exhaust.

(MEDIA NOTE: Color or black and white photos of the student engineers with the power tools for an amputee and the snake-like robot are available.)

Following are the names and hometowns of students involved in some
'"/>

Contact: Phil Sneiderman
prs@jhu.edu
410-516-7160
Johns Hopkins University
13-May-1997


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