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  • Impactive Project

An Introduction

Project Impactive is a non-profit engineering project and works in collaboration with UCLU, helping to make life easier for people with disabilities. In collaboration with the client, the volunteer engineering teams ensure the best possible outcome in managing the daily obstacles that disabled individuals face, by making customised equipment for them. The project name stems from its desire to have an impact on disabled people’s lives.




Project Impactive is running 7 different projects as we speak. One of these projects is the design of a fully functional gaming controller that can be operated with one hand. Games such as FIFA, GTA and Fortnite traditionally require controllers that use two hands, limiting certain disabled persons from playing. Our engineers therefore took up the task of creating a gaming controller that contains all the necessary buttons for a player with use of only one hand.


Our amazing team of two electrical engineers, and technical team leader, meet weekly discuss ideas and work on the project. In the first three weeks they generated concepts for the controller and discussed design ideas. Then, the team visited GAME and CEX, both stores specialising in gaming equipment. The team consulted staff about their designs and asked for feedback on which of their concepts would be most suitable and effective for disabled gamers.


The team decided the working principle of their design would be inspired by the functionality of a computer mouse. All five fingers of one hand would be engaged to use the controller. The team are moving into the manufacturing phase now as the design is complete and they have confirmed which model they are going to build.




Team leader Jun Gan emphasised that this project is something his team does because it is “the right thing to do”, enabling disabled individuals to have more access to an activity as commonplace as gaming. He stressed that this type of project is the essence of what engineering and technology are to him, being creative in developing innovative services to help people.


Another project currently being developed within Project Impactive is the ‘universal’ cupholder, that can be used with existing wheelchairs. This project, along with the game controller, is running in collaboration with MERU, a company that designs products for disabled people to help them improve their living standards. Although clip-on cupholders for wheelchairs do exist in the market, MERU ‘challenged’ this particular group to design a versatile one that maintains the same level of stability and security as non-flexible cupholders.


This team consists of two chemical engineers and one civil engineer, who gained some inspiration from existing products and then came up with a concept. Later they sketched this out. In this process MERU provided guidance on how they should frame the design. The team also conferred with lecturers and a senior teaching fellow from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who offered feedback and support on their concepts.



The first design idea the team developed made use of a gear system, which would allow adjustability, but time restrictions prevented them pursuing this option further. The team regrouped and redrafted, focussing this time on simplicity, seeking guidance from CAD mentors for their 3D design. They used their individual efforts to overcome the difficulties of designing within a program they were not accustomed to, persevering and gaining new skills in the process. This team is striving for a final design that is functional and efficient, whilst they juggle university and their various other responsibilities.


Project Impactive is striving to overcome restrictions in daily life for disabled people that others take for granted or turn a blind eye to. The project has nearly 60 passionate volunteers who are determined to make even the smallest difference in the lives of others, and these projects are just the start.


Ala’a Sukhera

Writer

Project Impactive

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