Made by College Seniors, These Seven Products Give Us a Glimpse Into the Future

Engineering students at universities across the country took these projects from sketch to reality in one year

University of Vermont engineering student Joseph Maser gazes down at the prototype of the inflatable airlock for space stations and vehicles that he and three other students built. (Photo courtesy of Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist)
smithsonianmag.com

Go Ramp - Michigan State University

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(Photo courtesy of Tamara Bush)

Student Team: Sean Hughes, Stephanie Jones, Krista Oldham, Davis Trapp and Zachary Tuller

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Tamara Reid Bush and Dr. Hang Nguyen

Marketing and engineering students first went door-to-door to discover products their community wanted, then together designed and built a prototype. The Go Ramp is a wheelchair that carries its own ramp for traversing small obstacles. Harnessed to the rear of the chair, the ramp can be lifted up and over the user’s head, then positioned against a curb or stair to be mounted. After going over the ramp, the ramp can then be hooked back into its start position on the back of the chair. The team hopes a future design will have a self-reloading ramp, as well as be built with lighter composite materials.

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