Michigan Tech students create exercise machine

- Michigan Tech seniors Dan and Ian are spending their last semester working on a machine that could help others.

Dan Krudy said, "As I've become an engineer, I've wanted to find purpose in what I do, and being able to work on a project where you can see the benefit to someone underprivilged, that's pretty cool."

The machine is called RENEW-U which stands for resistance exercise via negative eccentrically-induced work for upper-extremities. It's a way to help those with limited mobility to stay healthy.

Steve Elmer, assistant professor at MTU, said, "We're really taking advantage of a concept that's been around for a long time, but really applying this to muscles in the arms and upper extremities."

It was designed by a group at Michigan Tech called Velovations that works mostly with bicycle designs. But it's not just for those who are disabled.

Elmer said, "This could actually be targeted towards a number of different populations. Those individuals who are in wheelchairs is one population, but also could be older adults who have a hard time getting around, but still need to have good arm function for activities of daily living."

Dan and Ian came into the project to make the machine better.

Ian Connick said, "We reduced the frame size a lot. We cut the weight in half, or more, just to make the machine more portable, and so that it could possibly be used in different locations."

But for these engineers, the project goes beyond the nuts and bolts.

Connick said, "Engineering projects where you're designing a wheel for a car or a steering knuckle, it's far removed from the human element. In this, we're working directly with people that are going to be affected by this, so it's really rewarding."

Next, RENEW-U will be tested by physical therapy students.

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