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ID students part of fourth-place team in Dr. Destler's Challenge

May 18, 2017

Photos courtesy of Emma Sarles

The winners of this year’s Dr. Destler’s Challenge were announced earlier this month at Imagine RIT, and a pair of graduating RIT industrial design students was on the fourth-place team.

Jamie Moore and Emma Sarles contributed to the development of The Overcomer™, a progressive adaptive fitness system that allows those with physical disabilities to participate in recreational activities in a way they couldn’t before. The RIT students working on The Overcomer™ are primarily engineering majors, while Moore and Sarles have industrial design backgrounds.  

RIT President Bill Destler has put out the challenge annually since the inception of Imagine RIT, in 2008.

The challenge is open to all students, and calls for interdisciplinary efforts to create an innovation based on a given year’s theme. This year it centered around RIT’s Greatness Through Difference strategic plan and teams were asked to focus their entered inventions on health innovation.  

Groups set up their exhibits in Clark Gymnasium the day of Imagine RIT and judging occurred prior to the start of the event. The judge panel consisted of RIT trustees, festival sponsors and university faculty/staff. Winners were chosen and then announced during the festival’s opening ceremony.

DADCo, which emphasizes consumer-focused electromyography, won first place and the top prize — an antique banjo from Destler’s private, cherished collection.

A team that exhibited a semi-active wearable tremor mitigation device was second. GAIA, an athletic shirt that takes a quantitative approach to assessing athletic performance, placed third.

RIT students collaborated with Inclusivity Incorporated on The Overcomer™, which concentrates on activities like soccer, hockey, baseball and catch.