Congratulations to the Winners of the 2018-2019 Kick-Starts!


Air Chair
Olivia Laux, Kaylin Slinskey, Lucinda Williamson, Jared McClung, and Bryan Williams

Our goal is produce a way to reduce damage to an individual’s wheelchair during commercial travel in order to encourage confident and independent experiences. Our idea is to develop a shield that will have two hard sides that can fold down into tiles and can be put onto the back of the chair. The sides would have a sturdy mesh and reinforcing rods or poles would be used to interlock the hard portions of the shield to limit the effects of impressive forces.

Sponsor: Dr. Colleen Bringman


Asonus Tech (Alerting Device)
Adam Hoffman and Philip Abangan

The current device being created will alert the user, via vibration, of important noises in a surrounding environment. This small wearable device, will help those with hearing impairments be aware of doorbells, fire alarms, their naming be called, and many other important noises.

Sponsor: Lynn Allendorf


Body Betty
Caroline Chelsvig and Emily Leibold

Body Betty is an interactive toy which teaches anatomy using a doll and a fun app. The app quizzes the user on basic anatomy and physiology of the human body. Betty wears different outfits, each of which is able to be connected to the doll, telling her what to ask the user. Both the app and the Body Betty doll can be used together or on their own. Through the use of fun graphics and the doll, this toy will be ideal for young girls as a way to teach them STEM concepts.

Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Fiegel


Car Turbo Jet Engine
Greg Beaver and Walker Jarvie

I will take a turbocharger from a car and turn it into a jet engine. I will have to fabricate a combustion chamber, flame tube and all necessary piping to connect the system. I will design and build an oil system for the turbo in order to provide proper lubrication. The engine will also need a fuel system which I will design and build myself.

Sponsor: Dr. Albert Ratner


Ashley Mathews

Kineta is a self-defense device that shocks attackers when they come in contact with you. Whether you’re out on a run or going about your daily activities, Kineta ensures your safety wherever you go. This device will be worn as a wristband which uses voltage to deliver shock to the perpetrator.

Sponsor: Dr. Gary Christensen


A Lyapunov-Based Control System for Path-Following WIPs
Theodore Simmons and Miguel Camarena

I want to design a novel control algorithm and electromechanical system for path-following wheeled inverted pendulum (WIP) robots. Controlling the inverted pendulum is a benchmark of modern control problems, consisting of preventing a rigid-body fixed at a point under it’s center of gravity (COG) from falling over. This high-performance control system will simultaneously balance and transport a 2-wheeled inverted pendulum robot between planar points A and B as quickly as possible under robust feedback control from a micro-controller.

Sponsor: Dr. Zhen Kan


James Cory, Jayme Waite, Dakota Streit, Cecily Calcopietro, and Isaak Moore

We aim to create equipment and methods for proper, prone bilateral execution of prone Y’s, prone I’s, and prone T’s exercies for shoulder injury patients.

Sponsor: Mike Shaffer


Patient Table
Elizabeth LeMar

The idea is to create a table that can be placed on the rims of a hospital bed so that patients have access to a table that will move with their bodies making activities involving a table a
lot easier. This could be drawing, watching videos, or working on their own projects.

Sponsor: Dr. Nicole Grosland


Rocket Bike
Emma Tokuyama and Daniel Kelly

Our idea is to convert a regular bicycle into an electric bicycle by outfitting it with a motor and battery. The end result will be a fast, cheap, environmentally friendly, and easy way
for students to get around.

Sponsor: Dr. David Andersen


The Root Canal Pal
Ethan Slater, Collin Zweifel, Annie Cahill, Shao Yang Zhang, and Nina VanDerZanden

Our idea is to create a device that will stimulate large nerve fibers in the facial area. It will mask the brain’s perception of pain and work in tandem with existing local anesthetic administration. There is current research that suggests that stimulating larger nerve fibers will block out pain reception to the brain by overloading the smaller fibers that propagate the sensation of pain to the brain (gate-control theory). Our device will utilize vibrational frequency to stimulate the larger nerves of the face to block out the pain perception of a dental procedure.

Sponsor: Dr. Colleen Bringman