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- Chad Uy

Research Overview

As the aging populating in the United States steadily increases, it is especially important to recognize the needs of the elderly. Along with increased age come new sets of functional challenges. Studies have shown that both cognitive and mental abilities decrease with age. These new challenges are not without their solutions. The advent of new technology and better medicine, coupled with a better understanding of the aging process of the human body, have allowed people to live longer than before. However, it is important not only to extend their lives, but also to ensure them a high quality of life. Removing the causes of pains and potential accidents are noted concerns of many. With that in mind, there have been a growing number of products, services, and industries tailored to the specific needs of the elderly.

        The focus of this research is the design of bottles, in particular, the laundry detergent bottle. The act of pouring liquid out of a bottle is one similarly reproduced in many work and home environments. The laundry detergent bottle was chosen because of its ubiquity in households. The most common types of laundry detergents bottles are relatively heavy, and their handling may pose a problem for people with upper extremity disorders or weaknesses. Their use requires precise control to safely and accurately pour the desired amount of liquid into a small target (usually the bottle cap). Spilling the detergent could be potentially frustrating and hazardous to the user. The bottle redesign will incorporate the principles of universal design to ultimately reduce the physical stress on the user and extend access and usability to the largest possible population.


January 2010

Students simulate pouring liquid out of a laundry detergent bottle. Chad will analyze the postures and determine the forces needed to do the pouring task.
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February 2010

Chad conducted a literature review to identify which parameters on a bottle could be changed. An example of a possible change is shown below.
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March 2010

Chad has been working on modeling the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints during the pouring task to help predict the forces and torques created at each joint. Below, Chad is using a force gauge to measure the torque it takes to pour liquid out of the bottle.
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April 2010

Chad is consulting with another student about potential materials with which to construct the different handles. He is trying to balance strength with easily workable materials.

Chad also attended the 2010 International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection.
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August 2010

Over the summer, Chad conducted testing on different handle designs. The study was conducted at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, MA. At Liberty Mutual, he was allowed to use their motion tracking and EMG systems. Chad also received help from their talented researchers.
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September 2010

Chad, along with several other NIOSH trainees, attended the HFES annual meeting in San Francisco. The meeting showcased different types of research being done across the field and allowed an outlet for networking with others in the field.
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October 2010

Chad is processing the data gathered during testing of the handle designs at Liberty Mutual. Much of this work is to transform raw data into a more useful format for further analysis. Chad also participated in a Lumbar Motion Monitor training session.
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November 2010

Further data processing is being performed as well as data analysis. A manuscript for the Professional Safety journal is also being prepared for submission.
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December 2010

Chad is continuing the data processing and data analysis. One aspect of this includes looking at outliers and potential reasons they might be there.
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January 2011

Chad has been validating his data analysis to confirm that the data processing has been done following normally accepted practices as well making sure the methods chosen are valid for his particular task and experiment.
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February 2011

Chad has been working on document preparation for his thesis as well as analyzing the results. He has also started helping out with projects at the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina, including one exploring the capabilities of a force glove, which can measure individual finger forces. In addition, Chad has assisted with the lab's EMG instruction manual.
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March 2011

Chad participated in NC State's engineering open house, introducing accepted students to the different projects that are currently ongoing in the lab. He also helped complete a literature review in support of one of the projects for the Ergonomics Center for North Carolina. Chad, helped complete a paper for his research practicum course and will be preparing it as a submission for a relevant journal. In addition to this, he is continuing with his thesis work.
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April 2011

Chad has been working on statistical analysis for his thesis data. He has been ensuring his data conforms to the parametric assumptions and has been performing transformations on the data when necessary.

Chad also assisted in the creation of an instructional video showing users how to use the lab's EMG system and equipment.
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August 2011

In August, Chad successfully defended his thesis entitled The Effect of Handle Design on the Kinetics and Kinematics of a Pouring Task with an unconditional pass. He has moved back to New York to continue his job search.
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