Bear Arms is creating a product called Stand Alone which will function as an attachable and adjustable armrest that elderly people can use to support themselves when getting in and out of a chair. Elderly or disabled people often need help getting in or out of chairs and there is not always someone there to help them. Stand Alone serves to solve that problem. The product will be lightweight and easily attached to common chairs, even for the elderly. The adjustable armrests provide the user additional support and a surface to push from or brace when getting in or out of the chair. Basic design requirements will ensure that this product is lightweight, adjustable, and strong enough to support at least 250 lbs. Stand Alone will be made primarily of aluminum for rigidity and to reduce weight. The armrests will provide moderate cushion with a non-slip surface to ensure both comfort and safety. The mounting mechanism will also be adjustable to allow use on a variety of chairs.
Stand Alone is a product for the Healthcare Industry. Through our research we have found our two major competitors to be Stander and Medline. Both of these companies make products to help users to stand from a seated position. Stander has the EZ stand-n-go which is a pair of armrests the work on a couch seat to help the user stand. Stander designs and manufactures their product but relies on retail stores like Home Depot and Target to sell their product. Medline does not have a similar product they do manufacture a lot of equipment for the healthcare industry, including different types of chairs and other mobility devices, to help users accomplish different tasks. Medline manufactures some products and also has a huge distribution operation where they not only sell their equipment but they also sell other medical equipment. To prepare to enter the industry our team has completed a ton of research including market research and patent and literature searches along with general research into the industry. Our sponsor for this project also works in the healthcare industry and is able to give the team insite from the healthcare point of view.
Proof of Concept
At this phase of the design process Bear Arms has a clear direction for the Stand Alone product. Stand Alone will serve as a supportive structure to assist the elderly or disabled from getting in and out of chairs. It’s innovative design allows for use with a variety of chairs. The design concept uses four legs to provide the user with support from the ground. This ensures that the product does not move when the user transfers their weight from the chair. The design shown below will be made of aluminum to provide strength and minimize product weight. Stand Alone will instill confidence and peace of mind for its user that they can sit or stand by themselves. Bear Arms intends to run a variety of tests on the Stand Alone prototype to ensure it meets requirements. The prototype will be assembled and disassembled to determine ease of assembly. It will also be subjected to loads that are twice the intended load capacity to ensure it does not fail. By running hands on tests on the prototype, the team will gain a greater understanding of how well it will serve the user and what revisions to make if necessary.
The Stand Alone, created by Bear Arms, is designed to assist elderly people in and out of standard chairs that lack the feature of arm rests. Due to the lack of strength and balance that every person faces as they age, falling proves to be a huge detriment to elderly people’s health and quality of life. The Stand Alone serves as a device that’s sole purpose is to combat this issue. This product will be able to help eliminate a number of falls experienced by the elderly. By providing armrests to chairs that lack the feature, people will have a more stable and consistent way to get in and out of chairs. The arms on the Stand Alone have a strong and sturdy design so that the user possesses a safer way to get in and out of chairs. The product itself does not connect to the chair directly, but rather pulls up behind it. This characteristic was decided by Bear Arms so that their product could have a more universal design. Also, by not directly attaching to the chair, the Stand Alone has a feature where it collapses for easier storage. The back collapses in a way that the arms come closer together so that the Stand Alone can be moved with minimal effort and stored without taking up as much space. This design also simplifies the application of the product for the user. Because the intended user are elderly people, the simplified design and application is necessary. The user can easily extend the Stand Alone so that the arms are adjusted to correct width and lock into place. Once the sides and arms of the device are locked into place, the Stand Alone pulls directly behind and standard chair. Stand Alone is equipped with non-slip rubber feet to make sure the product is stable and does not move while in use. Now the user can better let themselves in and out of their own chair, with assistance from their upper body, they have a safer way to perform an everyday activity. Once they decide they are done using the Stand Alone, they simply pull the device away from the chair and collapse the arms. Now the Stand Alone can be stored away until it is needed next.
Start by building the the two sides. Bend the 8’ sections of the ⅞” aluminum tubing at the two locations to create the U-shaped section of the sides. To create the crossmember for the side, use the excess tubing removed from the U-shape, cut ⅞” saddle cut at either end of the tube. Place the crossmember into the U-Shape 4” on center up from the open end of the U-shape. Braze both ends of the crossmember to the U-shape. Drill the holes for the armrests and top back cross piece mounts per the drawings.
Next, to create the back cross pieces, take the two 4’ pieces of 1” x ⅛” aluminum flat bar and cut four 18” sections out. Next add four ½” rounds to the four corners of each of the 18” sections. Then add the three holes to each of the four pieces per the drawings.
If paint or powder coat is desired, it is at this point you would add this. From this point the rest of the build is just assembly. Install the armrests to the top of each side. Install the top back cross piece mount on either side. Install two back cross pieces, with a spacer in between them, into the top back cross piece mounts on either side. Install the bottom back cross piece mount on either side. Install the bottom of the two back cross pieces, with a spacer in between them, into the bottom back cross piece mounts on opposite side creating an X across the back of the assembly. Install the knob screw through the center of the two back cross pieces, a spacer, and the center of the other two back cross pieces. Install the acorn nut onto the end of the knob screw. Install the four non-slip rubber feet onto the bottoms of both sides.
Testing and Results
The test plan for the Stand Alone included each team member independently function testing and grading the prototype in 13 categories. These categories included subjects such as portability, storage, ease of use, and overall product functionality. Each team member spent a period of time using the product and testing all of its functions and then rating the product in each category. Each team member conducted this testing independently to avoid any influence from the other members of the design team, the results of the tests can be seen below along with the overall score for the product design.The product completed all of the designed functions and met the capacity standards set by Bear Arms at the beginning of the design. The Stand Alone did not fail during any part of the testing but areas of improvement were discovered throughout the testing. During testing it was found that the rear crossmember did not allow full collapse and was not as structurally stable as the team intended. Also, the product did not open and close as easily as we had hoped. Future prototypes would redesign the rear crossmember section to correct for the issues found.The bushing used to help the crossmembers slide would be made using a different process and different material to help with movement.
Bear Arms’ major goal is to improve the quality of life for the elderly or otherwise disabled whom have an inability to stand from a seated position. The product is essentially a pair of armrests that wrap around the back and sides of a chair, providing a brace for the assistance in sitting and standing. The Stand Alone is designed to be used on standard chairs that previously did not come manufactured with armrests. Bear Arms’ design allows users the aid of their arms when standing from a seated position, making this process much easier and safer for the user. The Stand Alone consists of two 6061 T-6 aluminum U-shaped tubes, each with a supportive crossmember. The tubes are fitted with padded armrests and are connected by a single scissor, adding lateral stability, as well as the benefit of a collapsible frame. Throughout the testing phase all of the testers have described the actions of sitting and standing from chairs easier than without the device and requiring less overall effort. The ability to use arms when standing from a chair greatly increases stability and decreases effort required in other parts of the body. The design of the product matches the purpose of the product in the case of the Stand Alone. The product was designed to ease the lives of those whom require assistance in standing from a seated position and it does exactly that by allowing the use of upper body strength in combination with the use of legs.
Meet the Team
Deion Seamands is currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno graduating in the spring with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Deion was born in North Dakota, but has been in Reno, NV since kindergarten. After graduating Reno high School in 2014, Deion chose to continue his education in the engineering field due to his love of math. He had a difficult time with the engineering process early when he faced his most difficult task in ENGR 100 constructing a hovercraft. Since then, Deion has developed a much larger understanding of engineering while becoming better with time management and organization. He also has developed more of a knowledge of what it takes to be a good team member and what it means to be an engineer. This is something that Deion wants to continue to develop as he grows. After graduation, Deion plans on to get real world mechanical engineering experience. Whether this is done through an internship or a career, he is ready for the next step in his life
Christian Kremin is a Mechanical Engineering senior at the University of Nevada, Reno. Christian will be graduating in the spring of 2018 and plans to use his degree to pursue a career in fabrication and design of archery equipment. Christian hopes to finish his college degree in a strong fashion and design and fabricate a senior design project that will better the lives of those who use it. Christian moved to Fernley, Nevada at the age of 10 and graduated from Fernley High School before enrolling in the Mechanical Engineering program at UNR. Christian has developed many skills that will help him receive a job in his field of interest including SolidWorks design and FEA analysis for complicated systems and in depth studies of tribology and advanced mechanics. Christian currently designs and fabricates tuning equipment for archery, this includes such as presses and draw boards allowing precision tuning of archery equipment. Christian used his mechanical engineering knowledge from previously classes to assess the highest points of stress on both the draw board and press and strengthened these places accordingly to withstand the repeated and extended periods of loading these tools will experience during use. Christian hopes to become an engineer at a large bow manufacturer and design the next generation of archery equipment after graduating.
Eric Day is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Mechanical Engineering. Originally from San Jose, He moved to Reno in 2014 to pursue his degree. At his time at UNR, Eric has made the Dean’s list most semesters. Outside of school, Eric enjoys weight lifting, playing basketball, and competing in bodybuilding competitions. Following graduation in spring of 2018, Eric plans on pursuing his master’s degree.
Michael Gribble is a mechanical engineering undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Reno. He will be graduating in spring of 2018 with his degree in engineering and a minor in renewable energy. Michael was born in Carmichael, CA and grew up in Penryn, CA. He attended high school at Del Oro and completed a regional occupational program for medical practices. It was after this that Michael realized he did not want to pursue a career in the medical industry but instead in engineering. After Michael’s first year as an engineering undergraduate he obtained a summer internship for Rados Companies. During this time he worked with a group of engineers on a wastewater pipeline project and gained many valuable skills. Further along in his undergraduate studies Michael took a course on Energy Policy which peaked his passion for renewable energy. After completing his degree he plans to work in the energy industry preferably for a company with a renewable energy focus. After gaining additional industry experience Michael would like to start his own firm and work as a consulting engineer in the energy industry. Outside of school Michael works for XPO Logistics as a dock supervisor and trains as a competitive powerlifter.
Greg Carter was born and raised in Reno, NV. After High School Greg attended TMCC where he completed a degree in Computer Aided Drafting while working in the industry as a Draftsman. After graduating Greg worked as a Draftsman for awhile until his boss at the time convinced him to go back to school for a Mechanical Engineering degree. During Greg’s academic career he has improved upon his ability to not over-engineer a project. In the beginning of his academic career even the simplest part would be ten times what it needed to be, but as he developed his engineering skills he learned to think about parts and what forces they will be subject to and this helps him design a simpler, more efficient part. A more current project Greg was tasked with was designing an ABS leaf spring for an assembly. He was given a basic shape and some specifications, like distance of travel and required reaction force, and he was able to use his engineering knowledge to complete the design. Greg’s current goals are to pass the FE exam in January and complete his degree next Spring. After graduation Greg’s goal is to take some time to relax. Between the demand of school and working almost full time there has not been a lot of time to relax.
Team Bear Arms would like to thank a few people who have helped us through capstone. Our sponsor Jason Sloan, who came up with the idea for Stand Alone and set us on our journey. Our mentor Mindy Haffke, who was a wealth of knowledge that we could tap into.