Students create wheelchair to help three-legged dog

November 9, 2021 (Volume 45, Number 6)

A group of students in Grand Valley’s Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) designed a wheelchair to help a three-legged dog named Tino after his owner, a community member, noticed the dog had been struggling to walk.

Selia Pethers, a junior who is majoring in biomedical engineering with an emphasis in product design and manufacturing, was one of the students who worked with Tino. She explained the process of putting together a working prototype.

“Our team held several meetings to work out the dimensional aspects of the project, as well as what materials would withstand Tino’s weight without being too heavy for him to bear on walks. Tino’s comfort and ease of use were the main priorities,” Pethers said.

Tino's owner connected with BMES last summer to see if the student organization would be interested in building a device. Jenna Russell, a junior and vice president of BMES, said she couldn’t help but fall in love with Tino, and decided to help create his wheelchair.

“I love animals and Tino was just the cutest, especially with his three little legs. How could you not want to help him?” Russel said. “I also wanted to gain experience in creating something from the start to the end, and seeing that process develop and unfold was really cool.”

Pethers enjoyed helping the dog's owner.

“Taking on community projects is very rewarding,” Pethers said. “It's great knowing that we are all here to support each other in any way we need. The School of Engineering does a great job finding community projects for students to work on; it’s definitely my favorite part of the program here.”

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This article was last edited on November 9, 2021 at 12:58 p.m.

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