Biomedical Team takes home 1st place at Design for Rehabilitation Competition

BMED Team creates innovative medical devices and wins engineering competition in Washington

The University of Manitoba Biomedical Engineering Design Team (BMED) brings together students with a passion for the biomedical field to foster design experience, device building, public speaking and networking opportunities. 

From May 28 – June 1, 2019 the BMED Team participated in the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Design for Rehabilitation Competition in Seatle Washington, showcasing their Wheelchair Transfer Project. The project involved collaboration with a client diagnosed with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and an occupational therapist from the MS Clinic at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, MB.

The client lost strength in her right leg and was unable to safely and consistently lift her right foot onto the footrest of her power wheelchair. Without a safe and reliable means of transferring her independence would be compromised.

After consulting with the client and occupational therapist, an automated assistive footplate was designed and built. With the push of a button, a linear actuator raises and lowers the client’s wheelchair footplate, greatly reducing the need for the client to lift her foot against gravity to complete the transfer. The lightweight perforated aluminum footplate has a beveled edge to allow the client to easily slide her foot onto the plate when it is flush with the floor. 

BMED received 1st place at this competition, thereby winning the University of Manitoba’s first-ever Biomedical Engineering Design Competition.

Friends of Engineering are proud supporters of the BMED student design team.

In addition to the Wheelchair Transfer Project, the team is also working on a wheelchair hand-warmer a device which automatically regulates the temperature inside a warmer based on the outside temperature using temperature sensors and an EMG Muscle Rehab to support individuals who have suffered paralysis or weakness of muscles as a result of a stroke. To read more about these projects visit: