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Dayton Engineer

School of Engineering Dean's Fund for Excellence enables student domestic immersions and community partnerships

By Megan Shepherd, The ETHOS Center

University of Dayton students, Elizabeth Musco, senior double major in engineering and dance, and Arvind Muthukumar Subramanian, graduate mechanical engineering student, are spending spring semester working with ETHOS partner, the HUB, in West Liberty, Ohio. The Heart of Unlimited Boundaries promotes meaningful relationships and a high quality of life for people of all abilities and from all backgrounds. The HUB empowers individuals with special needs through innovative, effective, person-centered experiences that focus on go-karting, training in using 3D printing technology and other experiences. 

Musco designs switches that can be used by those with physical disabilities. “In the photo, Arvind and I are ‘battling’ with our unique projects: I’m holding a squeeze-activated switch in my right hand that I designed and 3D printed. I have designed numerous switch styles that allow individuals with different abilities to interact with objects such as the Nerf gun that I’m holding in my left hand. With the ability to interact, other activities can then be incorporated to help with learning, exercise and social skills development,” says Musco. 

Subramanian works with robotics and coding. “The robot (pictured) is made from a wheelchair. The whole idea behind the robot is to educate children about disabilities and to prove to people that wheelchairs can do COOL STUFF! Rocky Grimes, founder of the HUB, calls the robot, ‘Weapon of Mass Distraction.’ My role was to code the microcontroller so that the main Nerf gun shoots, and the LED lights blink. This coding was quite tricky because the main gun had to be wirelessly connected to the Arduino so that the gun could be used as a separate entity. Therefore, an RF transmitter and receiver were installed, and now, the main Nerf gun can shoot without having any wires attached to it,” says Subramanian.

The experience that Musco and Subramanian are having this semester in their ETHOS Domestic Immersion — and how they are building capacity for our new community partner, the HUB — is one example of how 1Day1Dayton funds benefit both engineering students and the world. Thank you for donating to the School of Engineering Dean’s Fund for Excellence in the past — will you join us again on April 14? 

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