A sailboat for quadriplegics specifically designed by students of University of Utah mechanical engineering associate professor Andrew Merryweather was recently profiled in the Deseret News.

The boat, designed at the request of Jeffrey Rosenbluth, medical director at the University of Utah’s Rehabilitation Center, uses a sip-and-puff controller to steer the boat. The Tetra Watercraft is one of a series of recreational projects that began as designs from Merryweather’s students, including the TetraSki, a similarly controlled sit-down ski for quadriplegics, and a mobile dock that is used in conjunction with the sailboat that allows wheelchair users to get in and out of the craft.


To read the full news story, click here.

EAST CANYON RESERVOIR — Like any sailor, Derek Sundquist soaked in the sights, smells and sensations of sailing on a breezy, sunny summer morning.

But unlike most sailors, the 52-year-old’s exuberance had as much to do with the fact that he was in control as it did the joy of the sport.

“The simultaneous feelings of self-reliance and sheer delight … are priceless,” said Sundquist, a quadriplegic who is able to experience the exhilaration of sailing thanks to a University of Utah creation – the Tetra Watercraft. “The experience also emboldens my vision for what great things my future …holds.”

While so much of science and medicine focuses on understanding and possibly reversing or mitigating paralysis, Dr. Jeffrey Rosenbluth and his team are investigating ways to restore the kind of experiences that seem peripheral to life until one faces an existence without them. Rosenbluth, medical director at the University of Utah’s Rehabilitation Center, invented the Tetradapt device, which uses a joystick and mouth-controlled system to allow someone with a spinal cord injury or disease to steer, sail and manage electric propulsion. Read more.