Engineering students design beach wheelchair, other products

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana State University engineering students have designed and made a motorized wheelchair with three fat wheels so a 23-year-old woman can go to the beach with her family.

Last year's seniors were unable to provide a beach wheelchair for Cheslyn Simpson of Plaquemine, but left their plans. This year's group started with much fatter wheels. They added a cup holder, cooler, Bluetooth music player and headlights.

Project leader Daniel Lucas says they involved the community and raised awareness. They delivered the chair Tuesday.

Simpson has a genetic disease called Friedreich's ataxia . In 2017, her speech therapists suggested she write an essay asking for help through LSU's senior capstone design program. That's a two-course program in which teams of students work on an assigned project.

There were 46 teams this year.