Undergraduates helping amputees in First Step Grand Challenges innovation competition

Over the past two years, University of Delaware senior Cory Cacciola studied prosthetics. He wanted to take what he learned in the classroom and help combat the issues of walking with a prosthetic.

So Cacciola and fellow biomedical engineering majors created Rehab to Go and entered First Step Grand Challenges, a competition that invites undergraduate students from all disciplines to develop novel solutions to societal challenges. In the 2016 edition of the competition, the team won the judges’ Innovation Award and $1,500 in seed money toward testing a device that provides live assessments of walking patterns of amputees. The students hope the device can help combat bad gait habits and potential injuries to a person’s sound side.

After many tests and improvements, the team is back for the 2017 competition, which will hold its final event — a poster presentations and awards ceremony — from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, April 3,  in UD’s STAR Health Sciences Complex. UD employees, students and members of the community are invited to attend and see Rehab to Go compete against 12 other interdisciplinary teams. The competition, which is spearheaded by the College of Health Sciences and Horn Program in Entrepreneurship, will award a combined $10,000 in seed money to the top teams.

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