FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)– On Friday, Trine University students presented a retired Marine Corps veteran with something that he will cherish forever.
Christopher Billmyer is a retired Marine Corps veteran, but also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee.
Since his retirement from the Marine Corps, Billmeyer has become an avid kayaker. However, his disability sometimes presents as an obstacle to some outdoor activities, such as kayaking. That’s where Trine University’s biomedical engineering graduates stepped in.
As part of their senior design project, students designed a crane to load and unload the kayak from Billmyer’s truck, modified waders to keep him dry, and a wheelchair attachment to transport the kayak to and from the water.
“The world is not very accessible. So all the little tips and tricks and little things you can do to make it more accessible help you push down that barrier to get out and do things is great. So this is one more tool in the shed to get that done,” Billmyer said.
Trine University students presented Billmyer with the system at Trine’s Angola campus.
The project was part of BAE Systems’ Tech Power: Innovating for Impact program, which leverages undergraduate engineering students’ expertise to create assistive technology solutions to help disabled veterans.