DeXcellence places second at Innovation Challenge

Team photo

Members of the team that took second place in this year's Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge are, from rear left, Allison Garza, Andrew Schober, Vivaswath Kumar, Shaurya Agarwal and Sonia Garcia. With them in a photo taken earlier this year at Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston are, from left, Dora Aticia Barrios, her son Brandon Sierra, a patient who helped test the dexterity analysis device, and James Northcutt, an occupational therapist at Shriners. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

A team of recent Rice engineering graduates took second place in the annual Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge with the DeXcellence motion-analysis device developed for cerebral palsy patients.

Rice graduates Vivaswath Kumar, left, and Andrew Schober, right, demonstrate their device to analyze the dexterity of cerebral palsy patients to Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments, during the company's recent Innovation Challenge. At right is the DeXcellence team's co-adviser, Gary Woods, a professor in the practice of computer technology in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Rice team of Sonia Garcia, Shaurya Agarwal, Allison Garza, Viviswath Kumar and Andrew Schober earned $7,500 in the late July competition in Dallas. The DeXcellence device, developed in collaboration with Shriners Hospital for Children, consists of a Bluetooth-enabled peg that patients move over a custom board. The device sends data to software that helps therapists track patients’ progress. The team built the device as a senior capstone design project at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen.

Ohio State won the competition among teams from 120 colleges and universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico. This was the fourth time in five years that Rice has placed among the top three finishers, including firsts in 2011 and 2012.

Earlier this year, DeXcellence took first place at the Rice Engineering Design Showcase and second place in the International Student Design Showcase undergraduate poster competition at the Design of Medical Devices Conference at the University of Minnesota. Watch a video demonstration of the DeXcellence device here.






About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.