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MTU seniors build motorized swing for child

Now, the child will be able to swing on its own.
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - After perusing online forums, MTU Professor of Mechatronics Aleksandr Sergeyev stumbled upon a need that caught his eye.

A mother was looking for a college team to build her daughter a motorized device that would allow her to swing independently.

“We decided that we have a great opportunity to help the child,” said Sergeyev. “So basically I contacted the mom and the conversation started.”

Sergeyev thought the opportunity would make a great senior project for his students.

“He pitched us the idea, and he was like, can you guys do it,” said Heather Harris, project manager. “We were like, absolutely, this will be great.”

The engineering students worked on the swing for two semesters.

The final product will swing automatically for the child using electricity to power its motor.

MTU Lecturer Paniz Hazaveh said she thought the project was right up the mechatronics students’ alley.

“If you think about a motorized swingset that has a lot of mechanical components,” said Hazaveh. “With the motor being added, it has a lot of electrical components. So, it’s basically the definition of part of mechatronics.”

Right now, the swing sits in the Electrical Engineering Resources Center. In a week, it will be in the family’s home.

“Most of the other senior designs, it’s for a class or something,” said Harris. “But this is impacting a little girl that doesn’t have the chance so I was just so excited through all of the project to be doing this.”

In the future, the program hopes to develop its project further to help more children move more freely.

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