Northampton High School InvenTeam

Northampton, MA
Automatic Oar Feathering Device for Adaptive Rowing

The Northampton High School InvenTeam invented Auto-Oar, a device that eliminates
the need for wrist strength during the rowing motion. This will create a more efficient
rowing stroke for adaptive rowers who lack wrist strength or have limited fine motor
skills. Auto-Oar transfers linear motion into rotational motion to automatically rotate the
oar from a perpendicular position relative to the water to a parallel position, called “feathering”
—a motion traditionally generated by the rower’s wrist movement. The device is adjustable to accommodate different sized adults and stroke lengths. It is a lightweight and waterproof addition to an existing
oarlock and oar. The initial cost for a set of two is approximately $250.

Watch their 2015 EurekaFest Video

Blog

June 1, 2015

We, the Northampton High School InvenTeam, took a trip to Holyoke Rows to test our invention with a potential user. Jim Brooks has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and cannot turn his left wrist. Even so, he still enjoys rowing. However, due to his condition, rowing is more difficult and dangerous for him because he is unable to feather. Our device is designed to allow Jim to feather and square the blade of the oar efficiently.

May 17, 2015

The Northampton High School School InvenTeam would like to thank Whole Foods in Hadley, MA for their generous donation of 100 cookies for our bake sale. We will be holding a bake sale on Thursday, May 21st to fundraise for our trip to EurekaFest in June.

March 25, 2015

On Tuesday, March 24, 2015, the Northampton High School InvenTeam journeyed to the hot and humid climes of the John F. Kennedy Middle School natatorium in Florence, MA!

Beads of sweat trickled down their faces as the motivated members of InvenTeam screwed, bolted, and ducktaped their invention into reality.

There were and still are two ideas:

  1. Spring and Cam
  2. Turning Oarlock

Ultimately, the team must decide to carry one idea into the future! Testing was monumental in aiding that decision.

March 4, 2015

In September the Team tried out rowing to see what it is like at Holyoke Rows. The experience would prove invaluable in the coming months filled with struggle and triumph. 

The rowing motion was difficult for all but few of the attendees. However difficult to understand, knowledge of the motion has been neccessary in developing working ideas.

InvenTeam members enjoyed the serene retreat of the clear waters of the connecticut river all the while contemplating the enormity of the task to be accomplished in the coming months.