A Tray 4 All

University of Illinois at Chicago, 2005 - $12,000

Many varieties of lunch trays are available on the market: the standard tray featuring a flat surface and circumferential ledge, compartmentalized trays, and trays coated with non-slip surface material. However, there are no trays specifically designed to help people with partial arm function or motor control problems. This E-Team filled the gap by developing a specialized lunch tray for children with upper arm dysfunction. These children lack the strength and motor coordination to handle ordinary trays, and can’t function independently in the school cafeteria. The team developed two prototypes: one featuring a ring attached to the bottom right corner of the tray through which the user puts her good arm, freeing up the weaker arm to put items on the tray, and a butterfly-shaped tray. Both prototypes have cupholders that prevent drinks from sliding around.