OMAX Corporation, Kent
Researcher: Dr. Mamidala Ramulu, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
OMAX is a supplier of waterjet equipment to the machining market. Their competitive advantage lies in their software and patented control technology. The company is building a remote and unattended version of their JetMachining® Center (JMC). They are teaming with Dr. Ramulu to develop a proof-of-concept prototype consisting of a software algorithm and associated hardware. The company’s goal is to improve productivity and ease of use for its customers’ machining operations.
Magic Wheels, Inc., Seattle
Researcher: Dr. Brian Flinn, University of Washington Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
Wheelchair users have long sought to transport themselves more efficiently to increase their mobility and independence; and to reduce the strain on their arm joints. Current wheelchairs allow limited mobility on inclines and uneven terrains. Magic Wheels, Inc. has developed a simple, cost-effective mechanism in a 2-speed geared drive wheel that enables wheelchair users to negotiate obstacles such as slopes and challenging surfaces with less strain.
Magic Wheels™ (also the product) incorporates a patent-pending two-speed gear drive in quick release wheels that can be easily installed on existing wheelchairs. In addition to the extra climbing power provided by the gears, it also offers an advanced hill holding feature (with pushrim override) and a pushrim operated down hill assisted braking feature (for finger tip braking-no more burned hands), without relying on complex electronics or cumbersome motors and batteries. Dr. Brian Flinn is working with the company to test the structural strength of this new manual wheelchair wheel that contains a carbon-fiber composite wheel core.
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