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Electrical Outlet Connector

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of an electrical outlet connector to assist individuals with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Parkinson`s disease to plug in everyday electrical devices. The concept behind this project is to reduce the stress factors that come from the pushing and pulling required to plug in electrical devices into most standard U.S. and Canadian electrical outlets, which is also an easily assembled, manufacturable device. The device, an electric outlet assistive device, is designed to allow the individual with a disability to use an electric outlet without the assistance of another person. The prototype developed was a magnetic connector after observation of an electrical deep fryer magnetic cord. Based on the physics of magnetism, the group developed an outlet faceplate with magnets on it and a device plug, also with magnets, that could be plugged into the wall socket. The polarities of the magnets help the user determine the correct positioning of the plug on the cord to the socket in the wall plate so that the user was not able to plug in the device if the position (polarities) was incorrect. When in the correct position, the magnets attracted with no effort exerted by the user and the connection would occur. To allow this design to work, the faceplates and possibly the electrical box in the wall would need to be opened and magnets placed on or inside and a standard electrical cord would require adaptation. The ultimate design involved using a male adapter with a female “bridge” component to be set inside the appropriate spot and then combine the halves. This design stabilized the inner components and alleviated any issues with electrical standards and codes by using standard parts. The components inside the wall adapter/faceplate were the male “bridge” and the contacts. The contacts were then crimped onto the male part and housed in the side of the two parts. Likewise, the female “bridge” and pins were inside the cord adapter. As the male contacts were crimped into the male end, the pins were crimped into the female end and housed into the two parts. Three pins and three contacts are required for this design. This ensures a grounding component that is associated with a three-prong American outlet while also granting the needed positive and negative leads. The fabricated components work similar to that of Legos; the two blocks combine to secure the electrical components. This device was entered into the RESNA 2011 Student Design Competition where it placed as a semi-finalist under the job and environmental accommodation category. TITLE: Team Electric Slide: Electrical Outlet Assistive Device (Louisiana Tech University). JOURNAL: RESNA Student Design Competition. REF:

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