Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Engineers Design Handle To Make Lifting Car Seats Safer, Easier

30.11.2011
Engineers at North Carolina State University have developed a new handle for infant car seats (ICSs) that makes it easier for parents to lift the seat out of a car – while retaining a firmer grip on the handle – making it less likely that the seat will be dropped.

“Many products that are designed for parents don’t take ergonomics into account, and the instructions are usually not very helpful,” says Michael Clamann, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research. “We wanted to see whether, by changing the angle of the ICS handle, we could make it easier on parents and safer for the baby. Our idea was that it would be easier to hold on to the seat, minimizing the risk of dropping it.” The idea was inspired by Clamann’s experiences as a parent.


Citations
Applied Ergonomic
Caleb Burrus, North Carolina State University
By changing the angle of the ICS handle, the NC State team made it easier on parents and safer for infants.

The researchers based their new handle design on existing research that details which angles reduce “ulnar deviation,” or how much your wrist bends, and associated pressure in the carpal tunnel. This is important in terms of lifting tasks, because the further you bend your wrist, the weaker your grip.

The researchers tested the new design versus the traditional ICS handle with 10 different women of similar height (5th to 20th percentile in height). Participants were asked to lift the car seat out of a mock-up midsize sedan and place it into a stroller.

The team used sensors to measure muscular activity at the forearm and biceps and the wrist angle of the participants as they lifted the ICSs with different handle designs.

“Our angled handle lets people better position themselves over the car seat,” Clamann says, “and allowed them to use their biceps more than their forearm muscles. That’s an improvement, because our biceps are stronger than our forearms, and so are better able to bear weight. This is particularly important for smaller females lifting ICSs.” The participants also told researchers that the angled handle design was easier to lift.

The team also tested to see how foot placement – in the car or on the ground – affected the participants’ posture – and therefore their wrist angle. Such foot placement was previously recommended in the popular press literature regarding ICS handling.

“We found that placing your foot in the car to help lift the ICS allowed participants to use their biceps more and reduced how much they bent their wrists – giving them a firmer grip on the ICS,” says Kinley Taylor, an NC State graduate student and co-author of the paper. “However,” adds Clamann, “putting your foot in the car also increased the likelihood of hitting your head on the doorframe.”

The researchers plan to move forward with additional efforts to see how variations on the angled handle design affect ergonomics when used in different car designs, such as minivans, and for people who are significantly taller than the participants in this study.

The paper, “Comparison of infant car seat grip orientations and lift strategies,” is published online in Applied Ergonomics. The paper was co-authored by: Clamann; Taylor; Dr. David Kaber, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at NC State and director of the Occupational Safety & Ergonomics Program; and former NC State students Leah Beaver and Dr. Biwen Zhu. The research was supported, in part, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Dr. David Kaber, (919) 515-0312 or dbkaber@ncsu.edu
Michael Clamman, (919) 515-7210 or mpclaman@ncsu.edu
Matt Shipman, NC State News Services, (919) 515-6386 or matt_shipman@ncsu.edu

Matt Shipman | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

Further reports about: Design Thinking Ergonomics ICS Occupational Seats foot placement

More articles from Innovative Products:

nachricht Stroke patients relearning how to walk with peculiar shoe
18.09.2019 | University of South Florida (USF Innovation)

nachricht A ski jacket that actively gets rid of sweat
30.01.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Innovative Products >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST achieves the highest efficiency of flexible CZTSSe thin-film solar cell

19.09.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

NTU Singapore scientists develop technique to observe radiation damage over femtoseconds

19.09.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>