WXXI AM News

WATCH: Imagining New Access & Inclusion Technology

May 7, 2016

Winning RIT team for "Play Mobile"

The innovative thinking of Rochester Institute of Technology students was on full display at the school’s Henrietta campus during the ninth annual Imagine RIT festival on Saturday.

Thousands turned out to see the hundreds of exhibits across campus that showcased a wide variety of skills and creativity. In Clark Gymnasium, the focus was on access and inclusion technology.

More than a dozen student teams competed in “Dr. Destler’s Challenge,” a competition put forth by RIT President Bill Destler. The theme of the content changes, and this year, the focus was on projects that benefit people facing different types of challenges.  Destler praised the effort that went into each project.

“I think it’s a noble work, and as you can see from some of these demonstrations, they’re  quite creative, and I think some of them will make their way into the marketplace and end up helping people live more inclusive lives.”

A panel of eight judges evaluated the projects. Taking the top prize was a team that created the PlayMobile, a motorized pediatric stander that allows children who can’t walk to move around and interact with others while in a standing position.

Paul Sira is a member of the team that created the PlayMobile.

“The idea is to have a child, allow a child to experience movement on their own for the first time, and also movement in an upright position — standing, like they see their peers as well — so it’s kind of twofold,” Sira told WXXI News.

Other members of the winning team:

  • George Carvell, electrical engineering, Manheim, Pennsylvania.
  • Holman Chung, mechanical engineering, North Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Jack DeGonzaque, computer engineering, Syracuse.
  • Max De Sousa, electrical engineering, North Syracuse.
  • Jenna Hopkins, mechanical engineering, Olney, Maryland.
  • Mike Kelly, industrial design graduate student, Morristown, New Jersey.
  • Spar Patton, industrial design graduate student, Rochester.
  • Run Qiu, electrical engineering student, China.
  • Diana Rodriquez, management graduate student, Colombia.
  • Jelisse Rodriquez, management graduate student, Dominican Republic.
  • Joshua Schussler, management graduate student, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Elizabeth Stegner, industrial design graduate student, Moscow, Idaho.

Four other teams also won awards at the event.

Videography by Jeremy Steinkamp.