Help please? Everyday challenges

My nephew is studying engineering at uni and is looking for a topic for a 500 hour project. He needs to find an engineering solution (or the beginning of one) to a problem. The college offer suggestions but he would really like to do something that would go some way to help PWP.
Do you have an everyday challenge that might conceivably have an engineering solution given a bright young engineer having 500 hours to think about it? You don't need to have the idea for the solution just a description of the problem.
If you can come up with anything please post or personal message me.
If you have any crazy ideas, please still post; they might trigger off an idea in someone else or at least entertain us all!!

Great idea, maybe something really useful will come out of this.

I don't know about anyone else, but my tremor can get so strong that putting toothpaste onto my toothbrush is really difficult. If i hold the tube in my shaking hand I can't hold it still long enough to get the paste onto the bristles. The same applies if I switch hands...
At home I have to put the brush on the sink, but away from home that is not always an option, and can be pretty unhygenic.

How about texting with PD? - it is a nightmare, even with predictive text.

Minor stuff I know when compared to difficulty in walking or swallowing, but something for a budding engineer to consider and not too technical.


Would using a pump type toothpaste dispenser (I use Colgate)? I keep the toothpaste pump in a beaker which may or not be necessary, press down with my thumb and hold the toothbrush in the other hand near where the toothpaste comes out.
Hi Sallymac. Which branch is of engineering is your nephew studying?
There is electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, electronics and computers. I think he will be more into the design side of things. Industrial design technology, ergonomics etc. Helping PWPs will involve ergonomics. That is redesigning a product to suit the particular capabilities and limitations of the sufferer. I suggest he starts by conducting an in-depth survey to find out the most common problems facing PWPs in their day to day living get them to suggest possible solutions. This forum is as good a place as any to start.
Normally simple, everyday tasks like brushing teeth or coping with a knife and fork can become major challenges.

I wish him every success... Chris
Electronic engineering I believe. Yes, everyday stuff is the challenge and therefore where the most useful innovations are to be found!!
Thanks guys for the input so far!
Hi Sallymac
I have been pondering your request for suggestions about everyday difficulties with potential engineering solutions. Here are my initial thoughts, hope they are of some use!

Pulling trousers up/tops down when getting dressed
Putting on/taking off shoes and socks
Taking the lids off cans with ring pulls
Carrying cups/bowls containing liquids
Holding purse/wallet still whilst trying to take out change
Getting in and out of cars
Rolling over in bed
Holding still a book, newspaper etc while reading
Signing those silly electronic tablets that delivery men have.

I'll stop now. I think that's enough to be going on with!!!
Hi Sallymac

What about one of Wallace and Gromits cracking contraptions like the 'SNOOZATRON'?

Hey Mrtoady....Those electronic delivery notes are such a pain in the a***!!

I can empathise :grin:
How about the challenges involved in carrying more than 1 shopping bag? Sounds so simple doesnt it, but I cannot carry 2 bags, use a walking pole and open shop doors all at once. I cannot use 2 bags, a walking pole and get items off a shelf. Then to add to the juggling, you have 2 bags, a walking pole, probably a basket or trolley AND then you have to get the money out of your purse.Shold keep someone busy for a while working out a solution!
Ha ha, I know just what you mean,:rolling_eyes: the only solution I can think of is another pair of handa!
PLEASE OH PLEASE can you ask him to invent WD40 for humans. I dream of being able to squirt the lovely stuff straight into my joints.
For those of us with Parkinson's who are still working, it would be helpful to have a single point of reference and reviews of the best computer equipment for those with Parkinson's.

For example, I am finding it difficult to use a regular computer mouse, because I often can't do a double click with my forefinger, even with an assistive mouse adapter. I have been told that a trackball mouse is the answer, but there are three distinctive designs, and I don't want to buy three in order to find which one is best.