Georgia Tech's Team Wobble finished second Wednesday night in the Inventure Finals competition and scored $10,000, a free patent filing and a spot in Flashpoint. Their invention, Wobble, is an automated balance test to assess athletes following concussions. The device would keep athletes safe and reduce the risk of permanent brain damage. The inventors are: Hailey Brown, mechanical engineering; Matthew Devlin, biomedical engineering; Ana Gomez del Campo, biomedical engineering; and Garrett Wallace, biomedical engineering.
According to their website, concussions are a serious public health problem. There are 300,000 sports-related concussions every year and 23% of deployed military service members sustain concussions. If a patient returns to activity before making a full recovery, they are at an increased risk of sustaining multiple concussions and even a life-threatening second impact.
Their product, Wobble, is a portable perturbation platform that uses motion actuation and sensors to challenge and assess the subject’s postural control system. Force sensors track the subject’s center of pressure (COP), and this information can be combined with the platform kinematics to evaluate the response to perturbations. The intrinsic hardware has the capability to calculate a variety of metrics to analyze COP dynamics. The software for their device uses randomly generated commands of position, speed, and acceleration to prevent subjects from developing a learned response to the device.
A device that helps firefighters track their vital signs while fighting fires won the 2016 InVenture Prize. The inventors – Zachary Braun, a computer engineering major, and Tyler Sisk, an electrical engineering major – won $20,000 plus a free patent filing and a spot in Flashpoint, a Georgia Tech accelerator that helps company founders think about their business model and formation. Their invention, FireHUD, is a real-time monitoring system and Head Up Display that provides biometric and environmental data to firefighters and officials outside. The goal is to decrease the level of uncertainty firefighters face.
Team FireHUD will represent Georgia Tech at the inaugural ACC InVenture Prize. This competition, which will involve student startups and inventions from each of the 15 universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will take place at Georgia Tech April 5 and 6.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology