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friendly securment

Mitigating injury and falls at securement station on the rapid transit buses.

Photo of Jasmine Wright
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STICKER IN WINDOW ON BUS READS: "WHEEL CHAIR SEATING AREA. SECUREMENTS ARE LOCATED BELOW THESE SEATS. AREA PARA SILLAS DE REUDAS. LOS SEGUROS SE ENCUENTRAN ABAJO DE ESTOS ASIENTOS."

A  jamming pad that expedites the securement process of wheeled mobile devices on paratransit services. The Friendly Securement is a device with jamming granules that can change state from a liquid to a solid, allowing this pad to mold around any wheeled shape. All public transit buses are required to have securements in the designated ADA station of the bus.

Source: Shaw, G. (2000). Wheelchair rider risk in motor vehicles: A technical note. Journal of rehabilitation research and development, 37(1), 89-100.

These typically are belted J-hooks that come from Sure-Lok, a specialist manufacturer of tied securements that attach to the seated base of a wheelchair, however not everyone that uses a wheeled device is in a wheelchair. Bus drivers have to be certified to install the Sure-lok to people's wheelchairs and often require assistance. We want to focus on that problem by creating a more generic solution, that will not replace the current system, but work with it to allow the locking of carts and walkers to that space, where sitting and getting up from a seat can be difficult. 

There currently is not a way to secure casters in a bus, until now. The Friendly Securement would reduce some of the anxieties of bus travel and injuries by updating the securement design to be universal to various mobility devices ( conventional and unconventional) with the click of a button to lock and release.

Two or more people in wheelchairs and other wheeled devices taking the same bus can share securement stations with out worry of unjoining. Color will indicate when in use and when the lock button has been pressed. Current bus model only take some wheeled person at a time!


A bladder with coffee grounds as grains are enclosed with silicone shell. When air is subtracted from this bladder the arm can grip whatever it is holding on to. It is using the same physics as wet sand on the beach that is less exposed to air.
source: Jamming Gripper. (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2019, from https://www.creativemachineslab.com/jamming-gripper.html

source: Keys, A. S., Abate, A. R., Glotzer, S. C., & Durian, D. J. (2007). Measurement of growing dynamical length scales and prediction of the jamming transition in a granular material. Nature physics, 3(4), 260. 

This showcases the threshold changes between states of jamming and unjammed. 



Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Those who rely on a wheeled mobile device or supplemental walking aid such as cane, walker, or food mobile cart their implement of choice can be secured quickly without the aid of bus driver or other assistance for maximum independence.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have not piloted this idea before, however please see ATTACHMENTS at the bottom of this application to see the science and engineering behind the the soft robotics that is jammable.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

I started r-fuge, inc in 2017, as an organization that would develop innovative projects for cities where food access and mobility are primary foci. It was the brain child project for Echoing Green 2017 fellowship which made it through the first round of the competition as one of four-hounded from a total applicant pool of two-thousand. The development of this idea came about rapidly from a Ford mobility event for networking and idea incubation.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

The purchase of three $600 WC-18 standard, "RESNA WC-4:2017 – American National Standard for Wheelchairs, Volume 4: Wheelchairs and Transportation". $10,000 for purchase of used Kuka for mass fabrication of silicone bladders and the filling of them with sand and Jacks. $10,000 for the material of 20 prototypes. $20,000 to test frontal impact performance to ANSI/RESNA standards at University of Michigan, UMTRI. The purchase of three Matlab licenses for Simulink.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

In the first two months, further refinement of the model via the tool Rhinoceros 3D, will allow us to simulate the Kuka fabrication process as well as control the actual device, known as CAM simulation. Once simulated and predicted errors are fixed, we will begin the production of the Friendly Securement prototypes. We predict completion within a month, when all materials arrive on site. The last two months will be testing the prototypes with our test population on solid ground, once the model is refined again, we will resume testing on inactive rapid transit bus in parking lot going 15 - 30 mph. People will run over the device with various casters and wheels on street surface and then on any typical bus scheduled for that day "pop n play".

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Reduction of minor injuries, and disorientation related to mobile wheel device securment. (previously show the stats from the articles ). This will be collected by survey work with mixed population of people who rely on wheeled mobility devices such as wheelchair and foldable cart to travel longer distances via public transit. The survey will collect the responses of 50 individuals before using the friendly securement and after using the friendly securment on a bus. This will track impressions of ease, comfort, and self reported challenges.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

yes, because the pilots are apart of the circular economy, all test pilots will be recycled into the final product. we expect production that take place immediately, with funds from the city challenge.
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Attachments (4)

stevenkeating - jammable robotics - thesis highlights.pdf

source: Keating, S. J. (2012). Renaissance robotics: novel applications of multipurpose robotic arms spanning design fabrication, utility, and art (Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

jammable robotic arm picking up glass of water.jpg

A bladder with coffee grounds as grains are enclosed with silicone shell. When air is subtracted from this bladder the arm can grip whatever it is holding on to. It is using the same physics as wet sand on the beach that is less exposed to air. source: Jamming Gripper. (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2019, from https://www.creativemachineslab.com/jamming-gripper.html

bead configuation inside jammed grains.PNG

source: Keys, A. S., Abate, A. R., Glotzer, S. C., & Durian, D. J. (2007). Measurement of growing dynamical length scales and prediction of the jamming transition in a granular material. Nature physics, 3(4), 260.

wheelchair rider risks.PNG

source: Shaw, G. (2000). Wheelchair rider risk in motor vehicles: A technical note. Journal of rehabilitation research and development, 37(1), 89-100.

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Photo of Elizabeth Durden
Team

Hi Jasmine, your idea is great for transporting people with mobility apparatuses on the bus. that hook latch is difficult at time for the driver to secure passengers. I rode the new electric bus recently and they have a new securement that extends from the wall of the bus. It has a slip resistant floor area too. You should check it out!