Materials Science and Engineering, Class of 2011
Photo Credit: Technology Entrepreneurship Center
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By Alyssa Schoeneman
About two months ago, the IPT members visited the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center to test their prosthetic arm prototype. The team worked with two amputees who have each worn a custom fit prosthetic device for many years.
The IPT got to know the amputees in the morning by conducting extensive interviews, and then tested the devices in the afternoon.
“We got more positive feedback than we’ve gotten before,” explained IPT CEO Jonathan Naber. “We’re closing on a first product, and Northwestern was validation of that. The trip to Northwestern also gave us feedback about what we already knew we wanted to improve on the design.”
The IPT is currently preparing for a repeat trip to Guatemala this October. The team members will be abroad for two weeks at the Range of Motion Project clinic to initiate more substantial testing of their device.
“We will also be there while there is a major orthopedics clinic going on,” Naber explained, “so we will be able to talk to physicians prosthetists, orthotists…the people who will really be distributing our products.”
While the trip to Guatemala is already financed in full by two grants, the IPT is working to raise the funds necessary to support its work after the trip.
“We want to obtain long-term systematic funding,” Naber said. “We are also building our organization. We have started to vet and recruit a couple of key people whose skills we have identified as being particularly beneficial to us.”
Be sure to follow the success of the IPT and our other Illinois Launch teams on Twitter@illinoislaunch.