EPIC Project Pairs Wentworth Group with E-Bike Company

September 15, 2016

Sam Dahlberg discusses the work he and other Wentworth students have done at RRT

Sam Dahlberg discusses the work he and other Wentworth students have done at RRT

Recovering from a traumatic injury or surgery can often lead to months of frustration for a patient unless he or she has access to the proper means to rehabilitate with a professional.

A company called RRT E-Bikes is looking to help patients bounce back in a more convenient way with a line of electric bicycles, and a group at Wentworth is developing the app that will revolutionize how people use those bikes.

“An e-bike operates like a regular bike, but you add a motor,” explains Adam Rand, owner of RRT. “You can ride it as a motorized bike, a regular bike that requires full pedaling, or as a hybrid.”

Each bike contains sensors to measure variables including speed and torque. Exertion levels are monitored, and that data is sent back to the patient’s doctor.

Rand presented the project with Aaron Carpenter, assistant professor of electrical engineering and technology, and Durga Suresh, associate professor of computer science and networking, and students Blair Lichtenstein and Sam Dahlberg, to members of Wentworth's Corporation in September. 

“This platform is completely new to the industry,” says Rand. “It’s low-impact and gets people outside instead of in a doctor’s office. And Wentworth students are helping to make it happen.”

In order to reach a doctor, though, the data must first run through specific software, which is where Wentworth students come into play.

“Our students have been working on an app and developing algorithms for it,” says Durga Suresh, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and Technology. “The student buy-in has been huge, and many have told me that it’s the best project they’ve ever worked on.”

For Wentworth, the project feeds directly into the EPIC model, allowing students to take part in a real-world project in a collaborative, hands-on way.

“Students can really sink their teeth into this [project],” says Steve Chomyszak, director of EPIC Learning. “It’s building team approach and communications skills. Our students are working with deadline and have to meet customer expectations.”

RRT has sold roughly 5,000 bikes in the past four years, and Rand recently hired a Wentworth student for a summer co-op. He shares that he looks forward to a continued partnership with the Institute.

“If left to our own devices,” says Suresh, “this is a project that we faculty would want to work on ourselves.”

Related News