TIPeD Projects

Recent Projects



The goal of this project is to develop a body-weight scale that is integrated into a bed.  The motivation behind the product based on the unusually high risk (2.5 times the general population) of obesity that is found among wheelchair users, and the cascade of consequences related to health and quality of life.  Unfortunately, traditional tools such as activity monitors (e.g. Fitbit) and body-weight scales that are available for the ambulatory population to motivate weight loss are not accurate or usable by wheelchair users.  As part of a larger project to develop activity monitors for wheelchair users, we have developed a prototype BedScale, which easily integrates into commercially-available beds, and provides accurate weight measurements.  The future development of this BedScale will include seamless integration into activity and food-monitoring apps on the iPhone and Android platform (e.g. MyFitnessPal) as well as smart measurement features, which can automatically provide body weight measurements for more than one person who may be on the bed.  We believe that this device has broad appeal even among the non-disabled population.


The PathMeT project involves developing a tool that can measure the roughness of sidewalk surfaces.  This project includes mechanical, electrical, and software design.  Numerous sensors will be implemented in order to get important data.  These devices include: laser measurement tool, encoder, inclinometer, accelerometer, GPS, and camera.  It is the goal of this project to measure multiple aspects of sidewalk surfaces with extreme accuracy and precision.

Automated Barcode Reader

Barcodes provide users with a simple and timely method of data exchange. They are widely used in a variety of settings, such as commercial venues, hospitals, etc. The scanners that are currently used to retrieve barcode information are limited by low efficiency (they only detect one barcode each time) and significant user physical and cognitive load: users are required to recognize barcode areas first and then manipulate scanning angles. The goal of this project is to develop an application that uses a camera to automatically detect barcodes. By accurately detecting a barcode area automatically, this application will reduce the burden associated with repeatedly scanning barcodes, which would expand the use of the device to people with disabilities. With further development into automated reading of multiple barcodes at once, this technology will maximize efficiency for most applications and optimize accessibility for people with limited physical or cognitive abilities.

Virtual Seating Coach

The healthcare system in the United States spends around 11 billion dollars per year for the treatment of pressure ulcers. We know that powered wheelchair users have a relatively high risk of getting pressure ulcers because of their immobility. To prevent the occurrence of pressure ulcers, performing pressure relief as many times as possible during the day with a sufficient tilting angle is necessary. The purpose of the Virtual Seating Coach project is to use sensors to monitor how users operate their powered wheelchairs. Our Virtual Seating Coach system can not only remind users to perform effective pressure relief, but also instruct them on how to adjust the seating position correctly. Now, with the increased development of smartphones, our current goal is to establish a new Virtual Seating Coach system on the Android platform.

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