Kane County Student Awarded Scholarship for Innovation to Aid Mobility
Kane County Connects Staff 6/20/2022 6:00AM
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation has named Umika Arora, a student at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, as the inaugural winner of the Jim Nelson Scholarship for high school innovators. Arora won the scholarship for her invention of the iCane, a mobility aid and technical device that transforms a basic cane into a high-efficiency medical device with the addition of four major components – a flashlight, an SOS button, location tracking, and the partner iCane app.
According to a media release, Arora was inspired to develop the device by her beloved grandpa, who when on a walk with his cane would sometimes need assistance but struggled to use the emergency features on his phone. By modifying his basic cane with buttons and circuitry, she created the iCane, which merged technology into a standard medical device to make assistance more accessible.
When the SOS button on the device is pressed for more than three seconds, emergency contacts receive an alert via the iCane app. They can see the user’s location, set boundaries, and receive notifications when the user steps outside the boundary. With the iCane there is no need to fumble with unfamiliar technology in emergency situations.
“Congratulations to Umika for winning the inaugural Jim Nelson Scholarship with the creation of an amazing invention that will improve lives,” said Sarah Hartwick, Vice President of Education and Workforce Policy at the IMA and Executive Director of the IMA Education Foundation. “We hope this award will inspire students like Umika to continue to think outside the box and provide solutions to everyday problems. It’s this sort of innovation that drives our state’s manufacturing sector and will transform the world.”
SOURCE: Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMSA) media release.