Engineering students at The University of Arizona have designed a cooking range especially for the elderly and handicapped that is almost burn proof, shuts itself off if it is left alone and can be adjusted to fit the height of the user.
It is like the conventional cooktops that everyone is familiar with, free standing and without an oven.
The idea for the project came from a representative of United Way, Sharon Gartner who was looking for a group of students who could design such a cooktop.
The team worked with the disabled community in Tucson to see what they thought the unit should be this is what they wanted in the unit.
They wanted a unit that would be difficult for the elderly to burn themselves on, a cut off switch that would be out of range for any toddlers, one that would prevent the burners from being left on, controls that are easily accessible for people in wheelchairs and easy to use for people who have trouble using their hands, those with arthritis for example, a base that would be adjustable, one that would fit into the same space as a regular stove, one that would not require a lot of maintenance, and make it with three burners in a V shape, so they would not have to reach over any lit burners to get to one at the back.
They started out with a regular glass stovetop and then designed around it. They came up with a cooking surface that does not get hot, just warm to the touch. The burners work by the induction method, which heats the metal pans through an electromagnetic field. Only the molecules in the metal pot are heated, the glass remains cool or lightly warm to the touch. The only drawback is that the only pots that can be used must be made of stainless steel or iron. NO aluminum or glass. The burners are in the V shape, the controls are push button, much easier than the hard to turn knobs. Each leg has a cylinder in it that rise or lower the unit, and the switchers, both those that control the legs and those that control the burners are child safe and only adults can operate them .
And it is a good looking unit on top of everything else.
Now they hope to get the business students at UA to develop a business plan to manufacture and market the unit.
The student team included UA Engineering seniors David Montgomery, Atlas Trieu, Richelle Rosenbaum, Jennine Chesler, Andrew Booth and Michael Cromwell. Their project advisor was Ali Akoglu, of UA’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Gerald Pine, who teaches the interdisciplinary senior design class.
Source: University of Arizozna http://uanews.org/