The first two weeks of research are done and it has been an experience. My group and I found out when we got here that we would have to start our assistive robotics research from scratch. Starting research from scratch is not an easy task, but we put our heads together and got an idea. Then we found out that idea has been done cheaper and simpler, so we quickly moved on. Even though it was frustrating to find out that we aren’t as clever as we think we are, it was a great learning experience and taught us to do more research before we decided on an idea. Which I know seems like common sense, but sometimes you need to learn it the hard way.
Our project idea is a simplified robotic arm that attaches to a powered wheelchair. The platform behind this robotic arm is that is more economical than other robotic arms making it easier for people to obtain and increase general availability. My part in the project is primarily the design and assembly.
The program is much more relaxed than I had anticipated, which I’m really enjoying. It gives us a chance to set the pace so that we are learning and setting goals to meet the end timeline in a way that I haven’t yet done in previous settings. I am not having any trouble settling into the area because I live here with my husband and have the luxury of having a dog. I feel very fortunate to be able to do research on my home campus. My friends and family are here and I have access to all of my hobbies. I feel that I have the best of both worlds and I’m really grateful for that!