Bouncer Chair

Client Coordinators: Ilana Levin, PT
Designers: Kun Liang, Vincent Ling, Yejay Ying
Supervising Professor: Kevin Caves and Richard Goldberg

Our client is a two year old boy who, as a result of cerebral palsy, has limited trunk support and limited control of his limbs. We developed a device that exercises and strengthens his trunk and limbs. Our final design is a chair that can bounce up-and-down as well as side-to-side. By kicking his legs, our client generates a gentle up-and-down bouncing motion. By twisting his body, he is rewarded with a side-to-side bouncing motion. Through continued use of the bouncer, the client will develop his leg and trunk muscles while performing an activity he enjoys.

Our client’s mother remarked, “The ‘Bouncer’ team created a dynamic, size-appropriate bouncer seat for our son to allow him to continue an activity that he loves – kicking! The final product is something that our son will be able to enjoy for years to come.”

The base of the device is made of furniture grade PVC pipe and serves to elevate the chair from the ground so that it can safely bounce without making contact with the floor. Furniture grade PVC was ordered in “Duke blue” colors to enhance its aesthetic appeal.

The seating system is a chair from commercially available stroller, with the legs cut off. Made of lightweight metal and plastic, the chair features a mechanism that allows for simple reclining of the chair’s back. A custom safety harness was fabricated from neoprene and secured with buckles.

The stroller chair is attached to the base by four springs, two in the back and one on each side. The springs can be swapped out for stronger ones as the client grows and gets stronger, and included with the device are springs of varying load strengths and spring constants.

The front of the chair has a Delrin attachment which is used to control the motion. To lock out side-to-side motion, the parent or therapist inserts a pin through the base and Delrin attachment, preventing the chair from moving sideways. To lock out up-and-down motion, a strap and buckle mechanism attached to the back of the chair and looped around the base can be tightened, negating the effects of the springs and preventing the chair from bouncing up-and-down.

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