TOM: Vanderbilt, Students Helping Those with Disabilities

TOM: Vanderbilt, Students Helping Those with Disabilities


This past weekend, January 19th to the 21st, Vanderbilt hosted its first annual TOM makeathon on the second floor of the Wondry. TOM Global is a non-profit based in Tel Aviv that hosts 72-hour makeathons across the globe.

The TOM makeathon is an event where teams of engineers (known as makers) are paired with people with disabilities (known as need knowers) who then work collaboratively making low-cost, assistive technologies to assist the person with the disability in their day-to-day life. Once the event has concluded, all the assistive technologies that have been developed during the event are uploaded into a globally accessible open-source database. This allows for engineers around the world to view, use, and improve upon the designs, accelerating the developmental progress of many of these assistive technologies.

This year, Vanderbilt has seven different teams each working on a unique project to improve the life of the need knowers. For many of these teams, work began over a month ago on December 2nd during the PreTOM, an event where engineers met their teams and the need knower they would be designing their technology for. Team members worked nearly nonstop for 30 hours over the weekend, rushing to complete their project under the unique time constraints presented by the TOM makeathon. Makers wrapped up Sunday, presenting their finished projects to their need knowers. Some of this year’s projects include:

Team Jimmy- designed a machine-learning app to help Jimmy, a young boy with cerebral palsy, communicate with his peers.

Team Eli- working to create a Cheeto grabbing arm to help those with Prosthetics

Team Zion- also working on increasing the proficiency of prosthetics at grabbing small items

Why do Vanderbilt students get involved with TOM Global? Shiv Seth, a sophomore working on the HappyFest project, stated that he got involved to help “make a real, meaningful change in someone’s life.” Shiv is a development group leader and worked on Team HappyFest.

Team HappyFest was working with Adam and Melissa Stengel, a couple from Manhattan who run annual walks benefiting charities such as the National Hemophilia Foundation.

The goal of Shiv’s team was to create an inclusive obstacle course for families with disabilities to utilize and have fun on alongside those without disabilities. Shiv’s team was specifically tasked with designing different obstacles for this course. Since the event only takes place over a 72-hour period, Shiv and his team only got to see prototypes of his groups project this weekend. While most other groups will have a final project for their need knower to take home by the end of the weekend, Shiv’s team will have to wait and see if the Stengels implement their obstacles into their course.

Even if their obstacles are not adapted as is, Team HappyFest can rest easy knowing that others can still use and improve upon their designs to create a more refined course. That’s one of the beauties of TOM makeathon: even failures produce success. Since all product designs are uploaded onto an open source forum, other engineers from around the world can learn from the mistakes, successes, and all things in between from this Vanderbilt makeathon.

Students can get involved or support TOM: Vanderbilt by coming out to future events or by participating in the future.


About author
  • yeezy boost 350#1

    March 25, 2019

    Thank you a lot for providing individuals with such a terrific opportunity to read in detail from here. It really is very ideal plus packed with fun for me and my office mates to visit your site at minimum three times a week to find out the fresh things you will have. And definitely, I am just usually impressed considering the impressive techniques you serve. Selected 4 areas in this article are truly the best we’ve ever had.

  • michael kors outlet#2

    March 23, 2019

    I want to voice my respect for your generosity giving support to people that actually need help on this one subject matter. Your real dedication to passing the solution throughout became pretty useful and has continually encouraged men and women much like me to arrive at their dreams. Your new informative report signifies this much to me and a whole lot more to my fellow workers. Warm regards; from all of us.

  • nike air max 2019#3

    March 22, 2019

    I am also writing to make you be aware of what a awesome discovery my cousin’s daughter encountered reading your webblog. She figured out a wide variety of details, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a very effective teaching spirit to make others quite simply have an understanding of a number of tortuous topics. You truly exceeded readers’ expectations. I appreciate you for displaying the productive, healthy, informative and also easy tips about that topic to Lizeth.

  • yeezy boost 350 v2#4

    March 21, 2019

    I simply wished to thank you so much once again. I do not know what I might have achieved without the entire thoughts shared by you relating to that theme. This has been the frightful matter in my circumstances, but seeing a new professional style you solved it took me to jump with joy. Extremely thankful for your service and sincerely hope you know what an amazing job you are always putting in instructing others using your webblog. I am certain you haven’t got to know any of us.

  • yeezy 500#5

    March 21, 2019

    I am commenting to make you be aware of what a amazing encounter my wife’s princess undergone browsing your blog. She picked up a wide variety of issues, which include what it’s like to possess an awesome teaching mindset to let a number of people with ease learn chosen tricky matters. You really exceeded our expectations. Thanks for producing those useful, trusted, edifying as well as fun guidance on the topic to Gloria.

  • golden goose outlet#6

    March 19, 2019

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally pleasant possiblity to read from this website. It is always very useful plus full of a good time for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your web site nearly 3 times in 7 days to learn the latest items you will have. And indeed, we are at all times happy considering the good inspiring ideas you serve. Some 2 facts in this post are undoubtedly the most suitable we’ve had.

  • coach factory outlet#7

    March 17, 2019

    I simply wished to say thanks all over again. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have achieved without these points contributed by you concerning this industry. It was a very traumatic concern in my opinion, but observing a new expert tactic you solved it made me to cry for joy. I am just grateful for this work as well as hope that you really know what an amazing job you are always providing teaching men and women with the aid of your site. I am certain you’ve never come across any of us.

  • yeezys#8

    March 16, 2019

    My wife and i felt absolutely fulfilled Emmanuel could finish up his homework from your precious recommendations he received out of your web page. It is now and again perplexing just to find yourself giving freely guidance that most people may have been selling. Therefore we already know we’ve got the website owner to thank for that. The illustrations you have made, the simple web site navigation, the relationships your site make it easier to promote – it’s everything wonderful, and it’s really facilitating our son and our family do think that theme is amusing, and that’s exceptionally essential. Thank you for all the pieces!

  • yeezy shoes#9

    March 15, 2019

    I simply wished to appreciate you yet again. I’m not certain what I would’ve worked on without these strategies documented by you about this theme. It actually was an absolute depressing case in my position, but noticing this expert technique you dealt with that made me to weep with contentment. I am just thankful for the help and hope that you know what a powerful job your are putting in training many people by way of your blog post. I am certain you’ve never met all of us.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *