This project aims to design and construct a machine to help an ambulatory girl who has a tracheostomy and a ventilator. This project will allow her to enjoy her pool with her family and friends.
The child this team had the privilege of working with is ambulatory, but overall, very weak. She also has a tracheostomy and a ventilator. These facts combine to limit her mobility, but she does not let this stop her from doing everyday activities. One of these activities she enjoys is swimming in her above-ground pool. The issue is that she cannot climb the ladder to access the pool, and it is becoming a challenge for her mother or father to balance her on top of the ladder to assist her into the pool. The project’s initial intentions were to design and produce a platform of some kind to allow her to comfortably get to the top ledge of the pool where she can be helped in. However, after further discussion with the child’s mother, she made some additional requests that she believed would greatly benefit her child. These included a mechanism to assist the child from the platform into the water and a bench for her and her friends to sit on while in the pool.
After the team met with the family and child, they did research into solutions that have already been created. These options range from gradual stairs with handrails to hydraulic chair lifts. They loosely based new design concepts around these available options while taking new certain design specifications into account.
Hydraulic Chair/Bench Lift
In this design, we have a hydraulic chair lift. This device will have a bench-style seat for the child to sit in, then it will lift them up and over the pool. It will be adjustable for any height when she reaches the water level. This system will have to be anchored into the ground, either with concrete, or ground surface anchors.
304 Stainless Steel
Elongated Steps with Pool Bench Access
A staircase will be built to enter the pool. Instead of building a normal staircase that has a step height of 8 in. the step height will be altered to 4 in. to allow the child to climb them. On the interior of the pool, there will be a platform that will be raised up to a safe height. This platform will be made out of 304 stainless steel to prevent corrosion over time. The bottom of this platform will have a soft rubber pad to keep the bottom of the pool safe.
304 Stainless Steel or PVC (Interior)
Treated lumber and or composite decking (Exterior)
Scissor Lift with Pool Bench Access
In this design approach, a modified scissor lift with railings and a gate will be utilized to access the platform connected to the pool bench. The elevation of the platform will be managed by either a hydraulic or screw-type mechanism. Once at the required height, the scissor lift will provide a landing for access to a platform within the pool. The railing will also provide a sturdy and accessible mounting spot for the required breathing machine.
Stainless Steel or PVC
Hydraulic Cylinder/Screw Mechanism
Hydraulic Fluid Reservoir
Design concept 2 was chosen due to a limited budget, however, concept 3 is still in consideration depending on the approved budget.