Pool Lift


Our client is Providence CMFC (Center for Medically Fragile Children). This program takes in children with various disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, and helps rehabilitate and take care of the children in ways that complement their parents. The center is open for children from approximately ages 3-18. We hope that the Pool Lift Project will provide usable and effective means of muscle development therapy for these children.

Basic Project Description:

The purpose of this project is to build a mechanical lift system to allow a single nurse to transfer medically fragile children into or out of a hydro-therapy pool.


As of 10/24/2011, suit construction is at this point: our group has assembled the webbing to fit through the life jacket comfortably and easily and threaded the webbing into a seat for the patients to sit in. However, this design tends to put pressure on the patient's pelvis. Thus, we are planning on sewing the wetsuit in our possession into the seat of the harness with the help of the Kevlar thread. This should allow the patient's waist/pelvis region to remain at relatively low pressure.  In addition, the carbon fiber straps and D-Rings will be used to secure the patients into the suit. One aspect of the project that is waiting to be ordered is the quick-release clip. If a patient has a seizure, it is imperative that a nurse can quickly extract the patient from the pool. A quick-release clip should allow the patients to easily escape from the harness.

Possible Solutions:

Harness with XYZ controls: The XYZ harness system will consist of the following: a suit will be designed that is comfortable, yet supportive for the patients. This suit will attach to the ARJO lift unit provided by Providence CMFC. The ARJO lift will be mounted on a track system which will be attached to dual crossbeams. A main crossbeam will be attached to the dual cross beams, spanning the length of the room on both the left and right side of the aquatic therapy pool. The ARJO lift unit will control the movement of the main crossbeam, and a junction (provided by ARJO) will allow the lift unit to move in two dimensions (left-right, and forward-backward). The lift unit also allows the harness to move up and down. Thus, the nurse will strap the patient into the suit, lift the patient into the air, maneuver the patient above the pool and drop them down to a point where they are supporting their weight in the pool. However, the patients will still be easily extractable if an emergency occurs via the ARJO lift. The solution also involves a floatation device. Possible solutions include: A sleeveless jacket of buoyant or inflatable construction, for supporting the wearer in deep water and preventing drowning. Another option includes a close-fitting rubber garment worn by a skin diver in cold water that allows a thin, insulating layer of water to collect between the diver's skin and the suit in order to retain body heat. In addition to this, the neoprene wetsuit also floats extremely well.