Will '21: Helping People with an Amazon Alexa

College might still be a couple years away, but Will ‘21 is excited to already be on the engineering track. The junior was able to practice his skills in the real world as a volunteer in the Student Volunteer Program at the VA hospital this summer.

In the program, he was helping to develop a prototype for a voice-controlled wheelchair that utilizes an Amazon Alexa. The goal of the wheelchair is to help people with limited mobility, such as amputees, stroke victims, and individuals with ALS. The chair tilts backward and forward based on the voice commands given. Will noted, “Cycles of going back and forward are really important to stop patients from getting sores and other ailments from sitting for long periods of time.” Equipped with new firmware the team built, the wheelchairs are almost ready to be tested by patients. Will is hoping he’ll be able to be a part of that moment when it happens.

Will is currently working with Mr. Fike on finding a way to partner Bosque School students with project developers at the VA hospital.