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News|College of Engineering and Applied Science

Electrical Engineers Discuss Assistive Technology at Wyoming Medical Society Conference

June 13, 2011 — Electrical and Computer Engineering Professors Dr. Cameron Wright and Dr. Steven Barrett of the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science, presented recent biomedical research relating to assistive technology with senior design projects, at the recent Wyoming Medical Society Conference held in Laramie June 10.

Projects are conducted in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering with collaboration from the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), WIND Assistive Technology Resources (WATR), UW Special Education Department and AgrAbility.

“We have a very collaborative effort with WIND, one of the national centers for excellence, in working with individuals with disabilities,” says Steve Barrett. “There is a great need for assistive technology and some extremely talented and creative engineering students to provide that help.”

Assistive technology maintains or enhances a person’s quality of life while providing a benefit for the individual in their ability to perform activities of daily living, enhanced communication, improved mobility, participation in education programs, enhanced vocational activities and participation in recreational activities. The presentation outlined recent efforts of the college in developing assistive technology projects through senior design. Projects include developing an autonomous wheelchair equipped with sensors based on the vision system of the common housefly and creation of a color blind assistance system that is able to automate unmanned aerial vehicle landing.

Families in need of assistive technology for disabled individuals may send their ideas and an outline of the need to the college or WIND so the project scope could be reviewed for appropriate fit into the senior design project parameters. Project equipment costs are paid for from the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation and the students provide the labor free of charge as part of their senior design project requirement. For more information about past or current projects please contact Steve Barrett at


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