Assistive technology devices: A multidisciplinary course

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



This paper reports on a team-based, project-oriented engineering and business course at the University of Rhode Island. The class is a two-semester course sequence that emphasizes invention, innovation and entrepreneurship with focus on the marketing, design, and development of assistive technology devices. Faculty from the Colleges of Engineering and Business Administration guide multi-disciplinary teams through innovative product-oriented design projects in the field of assistive technology. Teams are made up of junior and senior level biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and business majors. In the first offering of this course in 2002/2003, a total of 21 students were split into 4 teams. This year, 32 students are split into 5 teams. Teams build prototypes of their designs, prepare business plans, prepare patent applications, and seek commercialization opportunities. The paper discusses course conduct, student assessment, and experiences learned form teaching an interdisciplinary course. This course provides new experiences and capabilities for students that enhance their opportunities of pursuing product design and entrepreneurial activities in their careers.

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

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